Pancreatic cancer symposium celebrates 10th anniversary in San Diego

| Written by Greg Calhoun
Pamela Itkin-Ansari, Ph.D. and Cosimo Commisso, Ph.D.
From left to right, co-hosts Pamela Itkin-Ansari, Ph.D., adjunct professor in the Development, Aging and Regeneration Program; and Cosimo Commisso, Ph.D., director of, and associate professor in, the Cancer Metabolism and Microenvironment Program.

The 2024 PancWest Symposium brought more than 120 scientists to the Sanford Burnham Prebys campus in San Diego to discuss the latest advances in pancreatic cancer research.

More than 120 pancreatic cancer researchers from the West Coast traveled to San Diego from as far as Vancouver to attend the 2024 PancWest Symposium on May 17. The PancWest Symposium was founded in 2014 to regularly bring the scientific community studying pancreatic cancer together to discuss advances in the field and foster new collaborations.

The PancWest Symposium is held every two years in a different city to showcase expert scientists who are making important contributions to the field of pancreatic cancer research, including tumorigenesis, tumor progression and the discovery of novel therapeutic paradigms, such as immunomodulation and metabolic targeting.

The 2024 event was held on the Sanford Burnham Prebys campus in the Fishman Auditorium and was hosted by Cosimo Commisso, Ph.D., director of, and associate professor in, the Institute’s Cancer Metabolism and Microenvironment Program; and Pamela Itkin-Ansari, Ph.D., adjunct professor in the Institute’s Development, Aging and Regeneration Program.

“While pancreatic cancer accounts for only three percent of cancer cases, it has the highest mortality rate among major cancers and is the third leading cause of cancer-related death in the U.S.,” says Commisso.

PancWest Symposium poster presentations in Chairmen's Hall
The symposium’s events included a keynote address, 12 featured
speakers, a poster session and a series of “power talks” providing
attendees a chance to hear two-minute oral presentations from
selected poster presenters.

“Unless we find ways to better diagnose and treat this disease, it is projected to become the second most deadly cancer in less than 20 years,” adds Itkin-Ansari. “That is why events such as PancWest are so important to enhance innovation and foster collaboration.”

Rosalie C. Sears, Ph.D., professor of Molecular and Medical Genetics, co-director of the Brenden-Colson Center for Pancreatic Care and Krista L. Lake Chair in Cancer Research at Oregon Health & Science University in Portland, gave the symposium’s keynote address.

Additional events at the symposium included 12 featured speakers, a poster session and a series of “power talks” providing attendees a chance to hear two-minute oral presentations from selected poster presenters.

"Being a part of PancWest has been a transformative experience,” shares Itkin-Ansari. “The exchange of groundbreaking research and innovative ideas among leading experts advanced our scientific understanding.”

“It also paved the way for new therapeutic strategies, ultimately offering hope and improved outcomes for patients battling pancreatic cancer," adds Commisso.

More information about the symposium and featured speakers is available on the event’s webpage.

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