Tucson Symposium

April 9 -10, 2019
El Conquistador Tucson, Arizona


Now in its 15th year, the annual Tucson Symposium brings together more than 500 thought leaders including pathologists, oncologists and other researchers in cancer from around the world to explore the pivotal role that translational research plays in improving our understanding and treatment of cancer.

Sponsored by Roche Tissue Diagnostics, the Tucson Symposium 2019 (TS19) invites you to join us for two days in Tucson, Arizona to debate new findings, discuss evolving theories and learn about innovative diagnostics and new outcomes in treatments that can significantly impact medical practice.TS19 will cover a diverse range of topics including immunology, tumor heterogeneity, translational medicine, new frontiers in colorectal cancer, informatics and transforming technologies with the singular focus of improving patients' lives.

Global cancer experts share breakthrough discoveries at Tucson Symposium 2018


With tremendous scientific and technological advancements, our understanding of cancer expands by the day, bringing with it an ever-increasing number of potential options to treat cancer patients. Determining which treatment regimens to use in each individual patient for the best possible outcomes has become more complex and requires us to accelerate our evolution of knowledge and understanding.

Cross-discipline collaboration among the world’s cancer experts is critical in reaching our goals of conquering cancer and improving patients’ lives. This information sharing is a cornerstone of Tucson Symposium, sponsored by Roche Tissue Diagnostics (RTD). The meeting annually draws more than 500 pathologists, oncologists, scientific researchers and healthcare leaders from around the globe to present the latest scientific data, explore cutting-edge scientific concepts and hypotheses and discuss breakthroughs in cancer research, diagnosis and treatment.


“It’s increasingly obvious to anyone who works in cancer medicine that this is a multidisciplinary team effort,” said Keith Kerr, MD, Consultant Pathologist and Professor of Pulmonary Pathology in Aberdeen, Scotland, and a leading expert on diagnostic and predictive biomarkers in lung cancer.


“What has been missing, for some at least, in what should be a team effort is the fact that people have been working in their own bubbles and not speaking to each other,” Kerr continued. “A meeting like Tucson Symposium gets interested stakeholders together in an environment that is very focused on particular areas of cancer medicine. It helps create dialogue and discussion between these quite diverse groups which, in some situations, would otherwise never meet. It’s a great opportunity.”


Kerr presented on “Biomarkers for Lung Cancer Immunotherapy: PD-L1 and More” at Tucson Symposium 2018, March 13-14.


The conference highlight for Kerr was discussion around the complex issue of identifying patients most likely to benefit from immunotherapy. “Specifically one of the most interesting highlights for me is the discussion around the human microbiome and how gut bacteria somehow influence an immune response in general that also has an effect on how immunotherapy drugs work in patients in particular.”


Kerr said the Tucson Symposium provides exposure to topics that he would not otherwise find at other global medical and scientific meetings he attends.


Regarding the PD-L1 biomarker in cancers, Kerr said there is a great deal more to learn about immune responses in patients and the role of PD-L1.


“We must have a better understanding of the role inflammation plays,” Kerr said. “If there isn’t inflammation, implying a tumor-directed immune response, immunotherapy drugs aren’t going to work.”


Dr. Eric Walk, Chief Medical & Scientific Officer at Roche Tissue Diagnostics chairs the Tucson Symposium program committee, selecting the topics of greatest interest to cancer experts. “What makes the Tucson Symposium unique is the deliberate diversity of topics and speakers across cancer-related disciplines, spanning the entire translational spectrum from discovery research to clinical practice,” he said.  


“Our goal is for symposium attendees to experience a thought-provoking intellectual feast, hearing directly from world leaders in their respective fields, and to engage in discussions and interactions they might not otherwise have,” Walk continued. “The driving philosophy behind the conference is that this collaboration is absolutely critical if we want to ultimately conquer cancer and fundamentally improve patients’ lives.”



Tucson Symposium 2018

Check out highlights from Tucson Symposium 2018 and hear what some of our key thought leaders have to say about the Symposium!

Important dates

Register Now


Poster abstract submission opens

October, 2018

Poster abstract guidelines


Poster abstract submission closes

Feburary 15, 2019


Registration price increases

February 18, 2019


Deadline to register

March 25, 2019


Keith Kerr, MD

Keith Kerr, MD