Adriana Albini, Editor in Chief of Cancer World, has been appointed Chair of the new Cancer Prevention Working Group (CPWG) of the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR).
“I’m so happy and honoured to have this responsibility, and with the CPWG steering committee hope to be able to make a real difference to advances in the field of cancer prevention internationally,” said Dr Albini, who is Professor of General Pathology at the University Milano Bicocca (Milan, Italy), and also heads the Vascular Biology and Angiogenesis Laboratory, IRCCS MultiMedica Milano. “More than ever before we are becoming aware that cancer is a preventable disease that can be heavily influenced also by lifestyle changes.”
Founded in 1907, the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) is the world’s first and largest professional organization dedicated to advancing cancer research and its mission to prevent and cure cancer. AACR membership includes almost 50,000 members, from translational, and clinical cancer researchers, other health care professionals; and patient advocates residing in 128 countries.
The mission of the CPWG working group, representing the AACR eighth working group, is to establish cancer prevention as a global priority through innovative science, integration of the latest technologies, improved funding, and the delivery of effective public education and awareness strategies. The working group will foster transdisciplinary approaches to cancer prevention, including promoting the incorporation of molecular and biochemical concepts and techniques as well as novel data science tools. The CPWG also aims to provide a forum for scholarly discussion and development of effective approaches to conduct and interpretation of cancer prevention studies, foster collaborations within the AACR scientific working groups, and devise scientific and educational programmes to advance the field. “This new working group will ensure that the AACR remains at the leading edge of scientific advancements in cancer prevention, early detection and interception,” explained Margaret Foli, chief executive officer of the AACR.
Throughout her career, Dr Albini has been an enthusiastic supporter of cancer prevention, believing that prevention should be actively promoted to healthy individuals and not just those at high risk of cancer. “We need to ask: what does it mean to be truly ‘healthy’? And how can we learn about what stops healthy people tipping into sickness? Prevention studies are notoriously difficult as they seek to explore a non-event,” she wrote in her first editorial in Cancer World when appointed Editor in Chief in February 2020.
In her research, Dr Albini worked on the mechanisms of prevention with dietary derivatives and developed the concept of angioprevention, where prevention of angiogenesis is used to avert tumour blood vessel formation. Her efforts have led to recognition of preventive agents, such as flavonoids, antioxidants and retinoids that can act on angiogenesis and tumour microenvironment to prevent cancer.
In her articles for Cancer World, Dr Albini has also promoted cancer prevention, writing about, tailored exercise, lessons of cancer prevention from ancient civilisations and the wonders of vitamin D.
In addition to her academic studies and scientific journalism, Dr Albini is a competitive fencer (winning bronze at the 2018 Veterans World Cup and silver at the 2015 European Veterans Fencing competition and author of several novels.