Tucson Symposium

March 13-14, 2018

Hilton El Conquistador Hotel, Tucson, Arizona

Join us!

Bringing together some of the world’s top oncologists, pathologists, research scientists and healthcare industry leaders, the Tucson Symposium understands the pivotal role that scientific research and innovative diagnostic tests play in improving our understanding of cancer.

Past topics have covered a diverse range of subject matter, from heterogeneity to biomarkers, personalized healthcare to disruptive technology.

TS 2018 will be no different, tackling a wide array of topics from an expansive group of change leaders in oncology and pathology with one common focus – improving patients’ lives.

View the Tucson Symposium 2018 agenda.

> Register now


Schedule at a glance

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

7am Breakfast & registration
8am General session
12pm Lunch
1pm Poster session
3pm General session
7pm Ventana open house & dinner

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

7am Breakfast & registration
8am General session
12pm Lunch
1pm General session
5pm Tucson Symposium adjourns


‘Intellectual feast’ draws global experts in cancer research and treatment to Tucson Symposium 2017

Some of the world’s top thought leaders on the subject came together to explore the latest research and information at the 13th annual Tucson Symposium, sponsored by Ventana Medical Systems, Inc. (Ventana), a member of the Roche Group.

Dr. Tom Grogan, Founder and Senior Vice President of Scientific Affairs for Ventana, welcomed 523 participants from 24 countries to Tucson Symposium 2017 (TS17), February 28 to March 1, 2017.


I think of it as an intellectual feast, said Grogan, who launched the Symposium in 2005 as a forum for global experts to share scientific advancements in cancer research and medical practice. The idea behind this meeting is to cross boundaries, so there are oncologists, pathologists, immunologists, molecular biologists, chemists, engineers, marketers and more all at the table. The opportunity to hear from someone that knows what you don’t know is what I look forward to.


Among the presenters and participants was Dr. Paul C. Tumeh, a physician-scientist from the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) Medical Center and co-founder and CEO of Biograph 55, Inc., previously known as Acteris. The privately-held San Francisco company is focused on accelerating the development and use of novel combination cancer immunotherapeutic products that are biologically rational and patient specific.

“Tucson Symposium is a world-class meeting, and it was a privilege to be part of it,” said Tumeh, who presented “Defining the translational potential of mapping cancer organization for personalized medicine” on the Symposium’s opening morning.

“The topics were spot-on, highly relevant and focused on critical issues,” he continued. “The speakers were strategically selected for pushing the envelope in their respective fields. I learned a lot.”

TS17 covered a wide spectrum of topics.

“Oncology is a complex field, and within that field you have multiple areas that need to be addressed that are contributing to the fundamental challenges in immuno-oncology,” Tumeh said. “Each of the speakers and topics were significant, from how payors think to what mutational trees look like in cancer. And they all matter.”

Delivering the opening day keynote address was Dr. Antoni Ribas, a leading oncologist and Professor of Medicine, Professor of Surgery and Professor of Molecular and Medical Pharmacology at UCLA. Ribas spoke to advances in revolutionary new immune blockade therapy, response to this new therapy in patients with multiple metastatic cancers and combination approaches to improving treatment options. He also discussed the challenges of immune therapies, including acquired resistance.

Charles Swanton, PhD, of London’s Francis Crick Institute – a leading expert on heterogeneity and cancer’s drug-resistant and incurable nature – delivered the Day Two keynote address on the expanding knowledge of tumor genetic heterogeneity, and the potential need for individualized – not just personalized – healthcare.

Other topics included:

  • Radiotherapy in immunology
  • Systemic therapy of melanoma
  • Integrating genetics, genomics and biology in personalized medicine
  • Development of imaging biomarkers to accelerate clinical trials and drug development
  • Circulating tumor DNA in cancer management
  • Immunotherapy toxicity, and more
It’s been an amazing two days, with a tremendous amount of valuable material, Dr. Eric Walk, Senior Vice President, Medical and Scientific Affairs, and Chief Medical Officer at Ventana, said in closing TS17. These are the world’s experts in their respective domains and disease areas and it’s an honor for them to come to Tucson.


Important dates

Early registration

September 1, 2017

Poster abstract submission opens

September 1, 2017

Poster abstract guidelines


Poster abstract submission closes

January 26, 2018


Early registration deadline

January 22, 2018


Regular registration deadline

March 6, 2018


Dr. Paul C. Tumeh

Dr. Paul C. Tumeh