The Thirteenth Annual AACR International Conference on Frontiers in Cancer Prevention Research will take place September 28-October 1, 2014, at the Sheraton New Orleans in New Orleans, Louisiana. The AACR has long been a supporter of cancer prevention research aimed at preventing cancer through lifestyle changes and early detection and treatment. This annual AACR conference series debuted in 2002 and remains the pre-eminent cancer prevention meeting in the world, a place where physicians, scientists, patients, and survivor advocates learn about the latest translational discoveries from the leading basic, clinical, epidemiologic, and behavioral scientists in the field. The conference fosters interdisciplinary collaborations, accelerates progression in the field of prevention research, and promotes awareness of the vital importance and of cancer prevention in reducing cancer incidence and mortality. Last year's conference theme, "Accelerating Discovery, Translation, and Application," put the spotlight on the power of prevention. This year's conference will once again spotlight the power of prevention research, which spans basic, translational, clinical, behavioral, and epidemiological research. Scientific advances are transforming the field of cancer prevention by providing us with the information and technology needed to understand the molecular underpinnings of carcinogenesis in humans and to identify and intervene in disease processes with unprecedented accuracy and effectiveness. By accelerating new discoveries and translating our understanding of the basic science into clinical application, benefits are being seen at the public health level. Several steps within carcinogenic initiation and progression are targets for cancer prevention. Primary prevention is the avoidance of exposure to carcinogens or the carcinogenic process and may be directed at the broad population of individuals who show no sign of premalignancy. Exercise and avoidance of tobacco are examples of this type of intervention. And one of the most successful primary prevention strategies is the development of vaccines such as those for HBV and HPV. Secondary prevention efforts are receiving attention and include screening and early detection, which are generally directed toward a more specified risk population. Examples of this type of prevention include colonoscopy and polypectomy. Studies have found that premalignant lesions may be more common than previously realized and it will be crucial to understand who some premalignant lesions progress to cancer and others do not. Finally, tertiary prevention is aimed at preventing recurrence or second cancers.
Several primary prevention strategies such as decreasing tobacco use and implementing HPV and HBV vaccination are already having a major impact on global public health by reducing cancer incidence and mortality. Important to secondary prevention strategies, several studies have found that premalignant lesions may also be more common than previously realized. Recent scientific advances are providing us with the information and technology needed to elucidate the molecular underpinnings of carcinogenesis in humans;understanding why some premalignant lesions progress to cancer while others do not will be crucial to personalizing therapy and avoiding overtreatment of patients. Through a combination of didactic lectures, poster presentations, educational sessions, and informal networking events, this annual conference provides a venue for scientists, physicians, and other health professionals to learn about and discuss the most cutting-edge research in the field and form interdisciplinary collaborations that will accelerate progression in cancer prevention research.