Today, I’m heading off to The New York Academy of Sciences (NYAS) for an afternoon of lectures on pancreatic cancer.  It’s free for members and only $40 for non-members.  Previous 1-day and half day meetings I’ve attended at NYAS have been packed with information and very enjoyable.

The New York Academy of Sciences Pancreatic Cancer Meeting

Why am I interested in this meeting?

Well, aside from Icarus Consultants being one of the media partners for this worthy event, we like to support scientific causes that facilitate cancer research and the communication of the data.

We know that the standard of care may possibly be changing soon with the data from the nab-paclitaxel (Abraxane) due before the year end, but even if the median survival is doubled from 5-6 months with gemcitabine to 10-12 months with nab-paclitaxel, we still have a long way to go in overcoming both primary and acquired resistance to treatment.  Additional improvements in the future will likely come from targeted agents aimed at different oncogenes.  There is a lot of active research going on now to try and figure out what those targets are and how best to attack them effectively.

Scientifically, the event promises to be an interesting one – we know that KRAS plays an important role in resistance to treatment in this disease – so understanding how things work in tumorigenesis is crucial for potential new breakthroughs in this terrible disease.  There are two lectures on KRAS and another on autophagy that I am particularly keen on hearing.

David Tuveson (Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory) is also giving an overview of therapies in development based on their mouse model of pancreatic cancer, including a new target they are working on ie Connective Tissue Growth Factor (CTGF), which I confess is a new one for me!

If you’re going to the meeting, do introduce yourself and say hello!  It’s also not too late to register if you are in the NY Metro area. An online webinar is available for members who can’t make it to the live event.