Progress, Pitfalls, and Prospects: An “Un-Lecture” on Cancer

Progress, Pitfalls, and Prospects: An “Un-Lecture” on Cancer

K4) Progress, Pitfalls, and Prospects: An “Un-Lecture” on Cancer


The advances we have made in understanding cancer over the past decade have been so rapid and profound that clichés often attached to scientific process—revolution, paradigm shift, Golden Age—seem almost inadequate. Yet these achievements notwithstanding, we must still face up to a stark reality: the vast majority of cancer patients, those with advanced-stage malignancies, still ultimately die of their disease, including patients who have been fortunate enough to receive state-of-the-art therapies.

As a key member of the team that mapped the BRCA2 gene associated with increased risk of breast, ovarian, and prostate cancer, and then an instrumental player in bringing drugs for BRCA-driven cancers to the clinic, Alan Ashworth is globally recognized for his basic and translational research. In this session, Ashworth, who has led top-tier academic cancer centers on two continents, will present a frank, deeply informed overview of the current state of cancer research and treatment and the most promising directions for the near future.

In this “un-lecture,” Ashworth will spark an interactive exchange with with journalists on important questions in the field: What does the much-discussed concept of patient-centered care really mean? What is the latest thinking on hereditary cancers, including BRCA-related disease? From innovative approaches to cancer prevention to cell engineering to the latest immunotherapies, this session will provide a sweeping view of the scientific and medical landscape, and of the road ahead in our fight against cancer.