Group of women at a conference smilingOn June 3-5, researchers and medical professionals from all over the globe came together at the 2022 International Anal Neoplasia Society (IANS) Scientific Meeting In New York.

They gathered to discuss best practices in anal cancer prevention and treatment, presenting their research and specific clinic experiences. Anal cancer and pre-cancer data were also shared by Dr Ashish Deshmukh. His research showed that globally, non-Hispanic white women have the highest rise in new anal cancer diagnoses and that smoking is a significant player in anal cancer and precancer.

Anal cancer risk diagram

Throughout, many of the presentations focused on improving pre-cancer treatment guidelines and screening recommendations to catch as much cancer and precancer as early as possible. Because the timeframe from the development of HSIL (anal pre-cancer) to cancer is unknown, the experts stressed that screening should be initiated prior to age of cancer risk.

Attendees at anal cancer conference

In 2012, the Anal Cancer Foundation provided the seed grant to begin IANS, the first medical society dedicated to the prevention and treatment of anal pre-cancer and cancer. A decade later, IANS is growing and held its most recent annual meeting. ACF’s Justine Almada and Laura Lazar were in attendance. Ms. Almada was an invited speaker who gave remarks on how we can raise the game in our fight against anal cancer. We’ve summarized a few key presentations from the weekend, including the ANCHOR Trial results, new data on who is being diagnosed with anal cancer, and the powerful patient panel.

The ANCHOR Study 

Group of people at a conference smilingOne of the major highlights of the weekend was Dr. Joel Palefsky’s presentation on the groundbreaking ANCHOR study. Dr. Palefsky was introduced by his longtime colleague Dr. Naomi Jay, who pointed out that, “None of us [doctors, researchers, patient advocates, and thrivers] would be in this room today without Joel”. 

For a primer on ANCHOR, check out our past blogs!:

What did Dr. Palefsky share?

Check out our ANCHOR Study Q & A for all the details.

Patient Panel: Rare and Misunderstood

People listening to a speaker at a conferenceOn day 3 of the conference, a panel of brave and outspoken thrivers shared their experiences with the assembled medical experts. We dedicated an entirely separate blog post to their stories. Please check that out!

Merchandise with the IANS logo on

The entire weekend it was clear how passionate and dedicated all who joined were to ending the trauma caused by anal cancer and precancer. Doctors and researchers came to the ACF table to learn more about our peer support program so they could share this and other resources with their patients.

Anal Cancer Foundation stall at an event

We were so thrilled to be a part of this first meeting after three years! The commitment to changing the game, and momentum towards ending anal cancer and HPV-associated illnesses was inspirational to witness.