News Release
A digital flyer announcing Penn Medicine at the AACR Annual Meeting 2024, with the dates, location, and social media hashtag.

SAN DIEGO – Researchers from the Abramson Cancer Center (ACC) and Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania will present data on the latest advances in cancer science and medicine at the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Annual Meeting 2024, taking place April 5-10 in San Diego, California. Follow us @PennMedicine and @PennMDForum for updates.

Expert Interviews

Experts from Penn Medicine are available to comment on a wide range of cancer research and care topics during the meeting by video call, phone, or email. To arrange interviews, please contact Meagan Raeke at or 267-693-6224.

News Releases

Penn Medicine’s E. John Wherry, PhD, and CHOP’s John M. Maris, MD, named 2024 Fellows of the AACR Academy

AACR: Video educates and connects men to prostate cancer screening options

Check back for more news as embargos lift during the meeting.

Posters on topics of interest

Penn Medicine researchers will share more than 20 abstracts during poster sessions throughout the annual meeting on topics ranging across the full spectrum of cancer research and care, from preclinical research on novel targets in the tumor microenvironment and side effects of FLASH radiation, to a pilot clinical trial assessing the influence of the microbiome on cancer therapy, to research addressing disparities in cancer screening and clinical trial participation, and more. Select posters of note include:

  • A culturally sensitive video increases prostate cancer screening knowledge and reduces decisional conflict in a population of diverse men (Abstract LB371; poster board 2) Mallorie Jones, a project manager, and Carmen Guerra, MD, associate director of Diversity and Outreach for the ACC, will share the findings during a late-breaking poster session in Section 54 at 1:30 p.m. PT on Tuesday, April 9.
  • Ibrutinib improves CAR T cell control of leukemia (Abstract 57; poster board 25): Research led by Saar Gill, MD, PhD, an associate professor of Hematology-Oncology, previously showed that adding the BTK inhibitor ibrutinib to CAR T cells improves response rates in patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), the most  common form of blood cancer. In this poster, Gill’s group sheds light on the possible mechanism for this important observation. Medical student Benjamin Frost will share the findings during a poster session in Section 2 at 1:30 p.m. PT on Sunday, April 7.
  • Sensory innervation as a novel driver of ovarian cancer progression (Abstract 2922; poster board 30): Research led by Matthew Knarr, PhD, a postdoctoral fellow in the lab of senior author Ronny Drapkin, MD, PhD, the Franklin Payne Associate Professor of Pathology in Obstetrics & Gynecology, found that nerve fibers in the tumor microenvironment help drive ovarian cancer growth and could be a potential new target for treatment. Knarr will share the findings during a poster session in Section 13 at 1:30 p.m. PT on Monday, April 8.
  • Clinical genetic testing results in metastatic prostate cancer patients (Abstract 3372; poster board 9): Research led by Penn graduate student Taylor Crawford and Kara Maxwell, MD, PhD, assistant professor of Hematology-Oncology and Genetics, shows that the rate of metastatic prostate cancers driven by pathogenic germline variants, such as BRCA1/2 gene mutations, may be lower than previously reported. Crawford will share the findings during a poster session in Section 29 at 1:30 p.m. PT on Monday, April 8.
  • Addressing financial toxicity in cancer clinical trial participation (Abstract 4825; poster board 14): The Lazarex Foundation’s Improving Patient Access to Cancer Clinical Trials (IMPACT) Program, reimburses patients for out-of-pocket costs associated with participating in cancer clinical trials. Penn graduate student Elizabeth Ramos reports on the barriers and facilitators to enrolling in IMPACT at the ACC, where the program is led by Carmen Guerra, MD, associate director of Diversity and Outreach for the ACC. Ramos will share the findings during a poster session in Section 33 at 9 a.m. PT on Tuesday, April 9.
  • FLASH proton radiotherapy mitigates side effects (Abstract 6036; poster board 18): FLASH radiation therapy delivers ultra-high dose rates in less than a second. In this preclinical study performed in mice, postdoctoral fellow Priyanka Chowdhury, PhD, and Constantinos Koumenis, PhD, the Richard H. Chamberlain Professor of Radiation Oncology, show that FLASH also minimizes toxicity to healthy tissue while maintaining tumor control. This is important in head and neck cancer, where radiation therapy can affect salivary glands and lead to lifelong side effects that affect quality of life. Penn student George Morcos will share the findings during a poster session in Section 29 at 1:30 p.m. PT on Tuesday, April 9.
  • Improving cancer therapy with microbiome modulation (Abstract 6671; poster board 2. Abstract 6672; poster board 3): Andrea Facciabene, PhD, a research associate professor of Radiation Oncology, shows how the oral antibiotic vancomycin has the potential to improve outcomes by modulating the gut microbiome when combined with cancer therapy. The first poster details a pilot trial for patients with stage I non-small cell lung cancer undergoing stereotactic body radiation therapy, and the second poster explores CAR T cell therapy in preclinical models of several different cancer types. Facciabene will share the findings during a poster session in Section 2 at 9 a.m. PT on Wednesday, April 10.

Penn Medicine is one of the world’s leading academic medical centers, dedicated to the related missions of medical education, biomedical research, excellence in patient care, and community service. The organization consists of the University of Pennsylvania Health System and Penn’s Raymond and Ruth Perelman School of Medicine, founded in 1765 as the nation’s first medical school.

The Perelman School of Medicine is consistently among the nation's top recipients of funding from the National Institutes of Health, with $550 million awarded in the 2022 fiscal year. Home to a proud history of “firsts” in medicine, Penn Medicine teams have pioneered discoveries and innovations that have shaped modern medicine, including recent breakthroughs such as CAR T cell therapy for cancer and the mRNA technology used in COVID-19 vaccines.

The University of Pennsylvania Health System’s patient care facilities stretch from the Susquehanna River in Pennsylvania to the New Jersey shore. These include the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, Penn Presbyterian Medical Center, Chester County Hospital, Lancaster General Health, Penn Medicine Princeton Health, and Pennsylvania Hospital—the nation’s first hospital, founded in 1751. Additional facilities and enterprises include Good Shepherd Penn Partners, Penn Medicine at Home, Lancaster Behavioral Health Hospital, and Princeton House Behavioral Health, among others.

Penn Medicine is an $11.1 billion enterprise powered by more than 49,000 talented faculty and staff.

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