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Workshop: The Cancer-Alzheimer’s Disease Nexus: Exploring Relationships, Mechanisms, and Therapeutic implications

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Target Audience

Researchers interested in learning more about the relationship between Alzheimer’s disease and cancers are invited to join this workshop.


October 18, 2022, from 9 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., ET
October 19, 2022, from 9 a.m. to 3:15 p.m., ET


This workshop will be held virtually on Zoom.

Purpose and Goals

On October 18 and 19, 2022, the National Institute on Aging (NIA) will sponsor a 2-day virtual workshop on Alzheimer’s Disease and Cancer. Recent research has suggested a complex relationship between Alzheimer’s disease and cancers. Several potential mechanisms have been proposed and warrant further investigation. Understanding the intersection of the underlying causes and biology for these two distinct families of diseases with one another may offer novel approaches to identify new therapeutic approaches and possible opportunities to repurpose existing drug candidates.

The goal of this 2-day workshop is to identify research gaps and opportunities, inform scientific priorities, and determine possible future directions for research in this area. We look forward to exploring the state of the science, as well as the opportunities and challenges, in areas such as:

  • The link between cancer and Alzheimer’s Disease
  • Genes, Mechanisms, and Epidemiological Evidence
  • Cancer Chemotherapy and Cognitive Dysfunction
  • Meds, Mechanisms, and Drug Repurposing


Register in advance for this workshop


Note: The draft agenda is shown below. Check back for updates.

Day 1 (Tuesday, October 18)

9:00 a.m.: Introductions and Welcome: Eliezer Masliah, M.D., NIA and Damali Martin, Ph.D., MPH, NIA

9:20 a.m.: Meeting overview and logistics: Damali Martin

Session 1: Why the joint interest in cancer and Alzheimer’s disease?
Session Chair: Mary Ganguli, MBBS (MD), MPH, University of Pittsburgh

  • 9:30 a.m.: Mary Ganguli, MBBS (MD), MPH, University of Pittsburgh
  • 9:40 a.m.: Disentangling the cancer-dementia relationship: Lessons from an epidemiological paradox, Lindsay Kobayashi, Ph.D., MS, University of Michigan
  • 10:10 a.m.: Epidemiology of the inverse comorbidity of dementia and cancer: Biostatistical challenges and opportunities, Michelle D. Shardell, Ph.D., University of Maryland
  • 10:40 a.m.: AD and cancer as a systems level maladaptation to stressors: From mechanisms to diagnostics and treatment, Gabriela Chiosis, Ph.D., Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
  • 11:10 a.m.: Q & A, Panel of Speakers
  • 11:20 a.m.: BREAK

Session 2: Genes, Mechanisms, and Epidemiological Evidence
Session Chair: Marcel Salive, M.D., MPH, NIA

  • 11:30 a.m.: Risk of ADRD by vascular diseases and tumor factors in long-term cancer survivors, Xianglin L. Du, M.B., Ph.D., MS, University of Texas
  • 11:45 a.m.: The good and bad biases of the cancer-dementia association: An epidemiologic assessment of the literature, Monica Ospina-Romero, M.D., MAS, University of Wisconsin
  • 12:00 p.m.: The molecular genetics of cancer and Alzheimer's disease, Kelly Nudelman, Ph.D., Indiana University
  • 12:15 p.m.: Investigating the genetic relationship between Alzheimer's disease and cancer using GWAS summary statistics, Liming Liang, Ph.D., Harvard University
  • 12:30 p.m.: Q & A, Panel of speakers
  • 1:00 p.m.: LUNCH

Session 3: Cancer Chemotherapy and Cognitive Dysfunction
Chair: Todd Horowitz, Ph.D., BRP, DCCPS, NCI

  • 1:45 p.m.: What can CRCD tell us about ADRD (and vice versa)- Lessons from the Thinking and Living with Cancer Study, Jeanne Mandelblatt, M.D., MPH, Georgetown University
  • 2:00 p.m.: From neuroimaging to multi-omics: A systems approach to cognitive changes in cancer and Alzheimer’s, Andrew J Saykin, Psy.D., Indiana University
  • 2:15 p.m.: Management of Cancer Related Cognitive Decline: State of the science on intervention strategies, Allison Magnuson, D.O., MS, University of Rochester
  • 2:30 p.m.: Q & A, Panel of Speakers
  • 2:45 p.m.: Discussion and wrap up of day 1

Day 2 (Wednesday, October 19, 2022)

9:00 a.m.: Goals for the day’s activities, Damali Martin, Ph.D., MPH, NIA

Session 4: Meds, Mechanisms, and Drug Repurposing
Session Chair: Paul Grothaus, Ph.D., NIA

  • 9:10 a.m.: Reversing Alzheimer’s disease gene network states by approved cancer and inflammatory drugs: From informatics to bench to clinical trial, Mark Albers, M.D., Ph.D., Harvard University
  • 9:25 a.m.: Neuronal fate loss and metabolic transformation in age-equivalent Alzheimer patient neurons, Jerome Mertens, Ph.D., University of Innsbruck, Austria
  • 9:40 a.m.: Microtubule-normalizing agents as potential therapeutics for AD and related neurodegenerative disorders, Kurt R. Brunden, Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania
  • 9:55 a.m.: Q & A, Panel of Speakers
  • 10:20 a.m.: BREAK
  • 10:30 a.m.: World Café Breakout Session, Damali Martin and Camille Pottinger, NIA
    • Participants will contribute ideas that address current gaps in the field and set future research directions. Each group will have a facilitator and note-taker.
  • 12:30 p.m.: LUNCH (gather all responses)
  • 1:30 p.m.: Report back & Presentation of responses, Camille Pottinger, MPH, NIA
  • 2:00 p.m.: Open discussion of future directions, Dallas Anderson and Damali Martin, NIA
  • 3:00 p.m.: Closing remarks and meeting ends, NIA staff

Contact Information

Please contact Damali Martin for questions you may have about the workshop.

NIA Cancer and AD Planning Group Members:

Dallas Anderson, Division of Neuroscience
Damali Martin, Division of Neuroscience
Paul Grothaus, Division of Neuroscience
Camille Pottinger, Division of Neuroscience
Marcel Salive, Division of Geriatrics and Clinical Gerontology
Todd Horowitz, Division of Cancer Control and Population Sciences, National Cancer Institute

Reasonable Accommodation: If you need reasonable accommodation to participate in this event, please contact the meeting organizer listed under Contact Information. Please make your request no later than 1 week before the event.

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