Tip Sheet: Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center at AACR Annual Meeting


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Credit: Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center

WHAT: Researchers from the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center will present results from several research studies and accept honors and awards at the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) annual meeting.

A listing of posters and research abstracts can be found on the Kimmel Cancer Center’s website under Latest News.

April 5-10, 2024

WHERE: San Diego Convention Center, San Diego, CA


Personalized Vaccine Therapy for Liver Cancer

“Neoantigen DNA Vaccine GNOS-PV02 and Pembrolizumab as Second-Line Treatment for Advanced Hepatocellular Carcinoma.” Abstract #1191

Mark Yarchoan, M.D., co-author and presenter.

A Phase 1B/2A clinical trial led by Kimmel Cancer Center and its Convergence Institute investigators found that adding a personalized anti-tumor vaccine to standard immunotherapy is safe and about twice as effective as standard immunotherapy alone for patients with hepatocellular carcinoma, the most common type of liver cancer.

Read the full news release.

AACR Press Conference 8:30 a.m. PT, Tuesday, April 9

Victor Velculescu, M.D., Ph.D., and Jamie E. Medina, Ph.D., co-authors and presenters. Early Detection of Ovarian Cancer using Cell-free DNA Fragmentomes and Protein Biomarkers. Abstract #6086. Embargoed until 8:30 a.m. PT, April 9.

Ovarian cancer is the leading cause of death from gynecological cancers worldwide. Still, there are no effective screening methods, and tumors are usually detected at advanced stages when treatment is less effective and prognosis is poor. Medina et al report on a new liquid biopsy approach using genome-wide cell-free DNA fragmentomes and known protein biomarkers to detect ovarian cancers with high specificity and sensitivity. The noninvasive approach could change the paradigm for population-wide ovarian cancer screening and early detection of the disease.

Margaret Foti Award

Chi Van Dang, M.D., Ph.D., F.A.A.C.R., Bloomberg Distinguished Professor of Cancer Medicine at Johns Hopkins and scientific director of the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research, will receive the 2024 AACR-Margaret Foti Award for Leadership and Extraordinary Achievements in Cancer Research in recognition of his seminal contributions to elucidating the function of the MYC oncogene as a switch, turning on metabolic pathways and mechanisms that fuel cancer cells. Award presentation is 4:45 p.m. PT, April 8.

AACR Journal Editor-in-Chief Selected

Nickolas Papadopoulos, Ph.D., director of translational genetics in The Ludwig Center at the Kimmel Cancer Center, has been appointed editor-in-chief of Cancer Prevention Research, an AACR journal. His term began April 1.

3-4:30 p.m. PT, Friday, April 5
Models to Study the Tumor Microenvironment Accounting for Cancer Health Disparities

Clayton C. Yates, Ph.D., John R. Lewis Professor of Pathology, professor of oncology, urologic-oncology, director for translational health disparities and global health equity research, program co-leader for cancer genetics and epigenetics, Kimmel Cancer Center


  • Session – Cancer Vaccines: Ready for Prime Time?

Abstract #CT022 – Mutant KRAS Peptide-Based Vaccine in Patients at High Risk of Developing Pancreatic Cancer: Preliminary Analysis from a Phase 1 Study

Saurav (Daniel) Haldar, M.D., presenter

Authors: Saurav D. Haldar, Amanda Huff, Elizabeth Abou Diwan, Anna Ferguson, Carol Judkins, Jiayun Lu, Hao Wang, Hassan Sinan, Christopher Thoburn, Katherine M. Bever, Mark Yarchoan, Amy M. Thomas, Julie M. Nauroth, Daniel A. Laheru, Michael G. Goggins, Elizabeth M. Jaffee, Nilofer S. Azad, Neeha Zaidi.

  • Session – Genetic and Cellular Mediators of Tumor Progression

Abstract #1259 – HMGA1: An Epigenetic Gatekeeper of Wnt Signals During Colon Tumorigenesis and Regeneration

Linda M.S. Resar, M.D., presenter

Authors: Linda M.S. Resar, Li Z. Luo, Lingling Xian, Iliana Herrera, Shaoguang Wu, Jung-Hyun Kim, Ying Feng, Julian Calderon-Espinosa, Eric R. Fearon, Cynthia Sears

Session – Novel Approaches for Targeted Therapies

Abstract #6565 – Improving Survival of Atypical Teratoid/Rhabdoid Tumor Orthotopic Xenografts Through the Combination of PI3K Inhibitor Paxalisib and Nucleoside Analog Gemcitabine

Tyler Findlay, M.D., presenter

Authors: Tyler Findlay, Kristen Malebranche, Anup Geethadevi, Charles Eberhart, Jeffrey Rubens, Eric Raabe.

  • Session – Understanding and Targeting Pathogenic Inflammation in Solid Tumors

Abstract #3923 – Targeting Immunosuppressive TREM2+ Tumor-Associated Macrophages in Prostate Cancer

Alex J. Lee, presenter

Authors: Alex J. Lee, Kenneth Adusei, Monali Praharaj, Fan Shen, Xiaoxu Wang, Kaavya Bhatia, Thomas Nirschl, Jelani C. Zarif

  • Session – Liquid Biopsy

Abstract #6557 – Longitudinal Cell-Free Tumor Load Dynamics Represent an Early Endpoint for Immunotherapy Response in Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer

Lavanya Sivapalan, Ph.D., presenter

Authors: Lavanya Sivapalan, Bahar Alipanahi, Archana Balan, Jamie E. Medina, Noushin Niknafs, Erica Peters, Jaime Wehr, Alissa Konicki, Mimi Najjar, Bryan Chesnick, Gavin Pereira, Sarah Rongione, Nisha Rao, Michael Rongione, Brittany Shavatt, Lorenzo Rinaldi, Benjamin Levy, Victor E. Velculescu, Patrick M. Forde, Valsamo Anagnostou

  • Session: Immuno-oncology

Abstract #6551 – Comprehensive Genomic and Transcriptomic Analyses Capture the Effects of Epigenetic Therapy Priming on Immune Checkpoint Blockade Response in Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer

Blair V. Landon, presenter

Authors: Blair V. Landon, Kristen A. Marrone, Michael J. Topper, Akshaya Annapragada, Hua-Ling Tsai, Archana Balan, Noushin Niknafs, Christopher Cherry, James R. White, Gavin Pereira, Vilmos Adleff, Chen Hu, Joanne Riemer, Margaret Fitzpatrick, Patrick Forde, Christine L. Hann, Ronan J. Kelly, David S. Ettinger, Benjamin Levy, Jorge Nieva, James Herman, Victor E. Velculescu, Stephen Baylin, Julie Brahmer, Valsamo Anagnostou

  • Session: Metabolism and Cancer

Abstract #6612 – Therapy-Resistant Endocycling Cancer Cells Alter Mitochondrial Structure and Metabolism to Survive Therapeutic Stress

Melvin Li, presenter

Authors: Melvin Li, Sarah R. Amend, Kenneth J. Pienta

  • Session: The Microenvironment: Beyond Surrounding the Tumor

Abstract #6631 – Aging Influences the Pancreatic Ductal Adenocarcinoma Tumor Immune Microenvironment to Promote Features of Immunosuppression

Daniel Zabransky, M.D., Ph.D., presenter

Authors: E. Kartalia, J.M. Leatherman, J.W. Lee, E.M. Jaffee, A.T. Weeraratna, D.J. Zabransky

For a complete listing of events featuring Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center researchers, please visit the AACR itinerary of sessions and presentations.