In 2005, an international group of investigators with completed or ongoing epidemiologic studies of esophageal adenocarcinoma and/or Barrett’s esophagus formed BEACON as an open scientific forum for research into the etiology and prevention of these diseases. Members develop and evaluate proposals for projects that pool data across sites and/or create new data through collaborative laboratory- or clinic-based studies.
BEACON functions through the volunteer activities of its members. The U.S. National Cancer Institute (NCI) and the National Institute for Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) helped support the formation of the consortium and contribute to costs of annual workshops when possible. Members alternate responsibility for hosting the annual meeting, attempting to vary the venue for convenience of members. An elected Steering Committee helps to coordinate activities. Collaboration Guidelines have been developed to guide the development of manuscripts and new studies based on BEACON resources and expertise.
Potential new members who have data to share from well-designed studies on esophageal adenocarcinoma or Barrett’s, or who have specialized expertise not already well-represented among Consortium members may be nominated by current members for subsequent review by the Steering Committee. Current Steering Committee members include Drs. Christian Abnet (National Cancer Institute), Douglas Corley (Kaiser Permanente Division of Research), Thomas Vaughan (Chair; Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center), David Whiteman (Queensland Institute for Medical Research), and Anna Wu (University of Southern California.)
2013 BEACON workshop in Chapel Hill, NC (sponsored in part by UNC)
2012 BEACON workshop in Bethesda, MD (sponsored in part by NCI)
2011 BEACON workshop in Brisbane, Australia (sponsored in part by QIMR)
2009 BEACON workshop in Lyon, France (sponsored in part by IARC)
2007 Workshop: Washington DC
2006 Workshop: Los Angeles, CA