The 2007 AACR-NCI-EORTC International Conference on Molecular Targets and Cancer Therapeutics: Discovery, Biology, and Clinical Applications was held from October 22 through October 26 in San Francisco, California. This conference is the thriving offspring of the original EORTC-NCI meetings on drug discovery and development, held biennially for more than two decades in Europe. The AACR partnership began in 1999, in response to the need for more frequent meetings to keep pace with the rapid advancement of molecular biology and genetics, and the consequent emergence of many new targets for cancer therapeutics. All three organizations state that the promotion of communication within the global scientific community is one of their key missions. This collaboration ensures that new information is exchanged regularly, so that everyone in the field keeps current with the latest developments.
Together, the level of excitement surrounding targeted therapy and the high caliber of the science presented fuel the power of this meeting to attract the world’s leaders in the development of new cancer therapeutics. In 2007, the effort to sequence cancer genomes, a more systematic approach to biomarker identification based on proteomics, and advances in functional imaging herald the future of drug discovery. The 2007 Scientific Committee, co-chaired by Sara A. Courtneidge of the Burnham Institute, representing the AACR; James H. Doroshow of the NCI, and Alexander M. M. Eggermont of Erasmus University Medical Center representing the EORTC, led 46 experts from throughout the U.S. and Europe in developing a comprehensive schedule of sessions that facilitated the translation of basic science into new therapeutic strategies, and made a major contribution to moving the field forward.
Anne-Lise Børresen-Dale of Norwegian Radium Hospital and Dwight Gary Gilliland of Harvard Medical School delivered the Keynote Addresses on Tuesday, October 23. Dr. Børresen-Dale's presentation focused on “Molecular Profiling and Breast Cancer: Towards Better Risk Estimation Prognostication and Prediction.” The topic of Dr. Gilliland’s presentation addressed “Discovery of Disease Alleles and Drug Targets in Myeloid Leukemias”.
The 2007 Molecular Targets and Cancer Therapeutics conference drew over 3,300 participants from nearly 40 countries representing industry, academia, and government institutions.