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Early cancer screening today and tomorrow: Exploring liquid biopsy profiling for diagnosis and treatment

This webinar is brought to you by the Science/AAAS Custom Publishing Office

Early cancer screening today and tomorrow:  Exploring liquid biopsy profiling for diagnosis and treatment

31 March 2021

12:00 p.m. ET

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The early detection of a cancer is a critical factor in its characterization, treatment, and eventual elimination. Many cancers, however, grow undetected because we do not have a sufficiently accurate or sensitive means to detect them. In recent years, advances in the detection of cancer-specific DNA in the blood—so-called cell-free DNA (cfDNA)—have given clinicians hope that liquid biopsies might provide a minimally invasive way to identify primary cancers much sooner and to alert doctors to relapse following treatment by identifying minimal residual disease. The development of successful screening methods will get us ever closer to the goal of precision oncology. Challenges still remain, however, including finding ways to detect low-frequency mutations in cfDNA and to identify other DNA aberrations, such as copy-number alterations, breaks, and methylation changes. This webinar will explore advances in early cancer screening, including recent successes and new methodologies for cfDNA detection and analysis.

During this webinar, the speakers will:

  • Discuss the importance and clinical rationale for early cancer screening, providing examples from liver and pancreatic cancer
  • Explain how liquid biopsies from blood and other fluids can provide a valuable complement to current standard-of-care tests such as mammograms and colonoscopies
  • Discuss results from recent studies using some of the latest cfDNA detection methodologies
  • Explore potential clinical applications for early cancer screening as we move toward individualized patient treatment.

This webinar will last for approximately 60 minutes.

Speaker bios

Anne Marie Lennon, M.D., Ph.D.

Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
Baltimore, MD

Dr. Lennon is the director of the Johns Hopkins Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology. She is the Moses and Helen Golden Paulson Professor of Gastroenterology and holds joint appointments as a professor in medicine, surgery, radiology, and oncology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. She received her medical degree from the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland and her Ph.D. from the National University of Ireland. She completed an internal medicine residency in Dublin and at the Cleveland Clinic, followed by a gastroenterology fellowship in Edinburgh. She completed an advanced endoscopy fellowship at Johns Hopkins and joined the faculty there in 2010. Dr. Lennon has published over 175 original research papers, review articles, editorials, and book chapters. Her major research interests are the management of precancerous pancreatic lesions and the development of markers for early cancer identification and their translation into clinical practice.

Yuchen Jiao, M.D., Ph.D.

Genetron Health
Beijing, China

Dr. Jiao received his M.D. from Peking Union Medical College in Beijing, China, and his Ph.D. from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, Maryland. He completed his postdoctoral fellowship there under Drs. Bert Vogelstein, Kenneth Kinzler, and Nickolas Papadopoulos at the Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center. In 2013, he joined the faculty of the Cancer Hospital of the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences. He is currently developing diagnostic and early-screening assays for cancer as the chief technology officer at Genetron Health. His main interest is in cell-free-DNA-based liquid biopsy techniques for detecting cancer, and the translation of these technologies into clinical application.

Sean Sanders, Ph.D.

Washington, DC

Dr. Sanders did his undergraduate training at the University of Cape Town, South Africa, and his Ph.D. at the University of Cambridge, UK, supported by the Wellcome Trust. Following postdoctoral training at the National Institutes of Health and Georgetown University, Dr. Sanders joined TranXenoGen, a startup biotechnology company in Massachusetts working on avian transgenics. Pursuing his parallel passion for writing and editing, Dr. Sanders joined BioTechniques as an editor, before joining Science/AAAS in 2006. Currently, Dr. Sanders is the Director and Senior Editor for Custom Publishing for the journal Science and Program Director for Outreach.

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