From cancer biology to the clinic

Jointly hosted by the European Association for Cancer Research (EACR), the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) and the Italian Cancer Society (SIC), the EACR-AACR-SIC Special Conference 2017 assembled basic, translational and clinical researchers for an inspiring conference on the challenges of optimising immuno- and targeted therapies.

It was a great honour to present a poster of my Cancer Research Wales funded research alongside excellent researchers of all career stages from PhD to principal investigator and it was an incredible opportunity to learn from leading experts across a range of disciplines.

The conference was held in the beautiful city of Florence and was spread over four days that were divided into sessions according to diverse themes that included: resistance to targeted cancer drugs, tumour cell metabolism and new therapeutic approaches.

I thoroughly enjoyed all the talks but particular highlights were presentations on targeting the RAS pathway, which promotes cancer growth, the use of combination therapies to overcome resistance and monitoring therapy failure at the level of single cells. These talks in particular afforded me with some great ideas for experiments and I was furiously scribbling away in my notebook even after all the sessions had finished for the day!

The ninety minute poster session gave me the opportunity to present and discuss my work with a wonderfully multidisciplinary mix of researchers. This part of the conference was great for networking and I made a couple of contacts with investigators that took a particular interest in my poster. I’m looking forward to following up with them to see how we may be able to work together and/or help each other out with future research.

The conference overall was a fantastic experience: the feedback I got from my own work was positive and constructive, the networking opportunities were extremely useful and I learned so much about advancements in cancer targeting, particularly from the clinical perspective.  Thank you so much, Cancer Research Wales, for providing the financial support that funds my work and allowed me to attend this stimulating research conference.

Jenny Wymant is a Cancer Research Wales-funded post-doctoral researcher in the Laboratory of Professor Arwyn Jones, based at the Cardiff School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Science, Cardiff University. Her research examines methods of enhancing the efficacy of therapies targeting HER2 positive breast cancer.This summer Jenny travelled to Italy to share her research with the rest of the world.