May 28 - 31, 2008
Boston Park Plaza Hotel
Jean-Pierre J. Issa, UT M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX
Peter W. Laird, USC/Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center, Los Angeles, CA
The study of epigenetic mechanisms in cancer, such as DNA methylation, histone modifications, nucleosome positioning and micro-RNA expression, has revealed a plethora of events that contribute to the neoplastic phenotype through stable changes in the expression of genes critical to transformation pathways. Since the first AACR Special Conference on cancer epigenetics in 1997, the field has grown exponentially in knowledge, publications, and number of investigators. Most encouragingly, research in epigenetics has led to improved survival of patients with certain forms of lymphoma and leukemias through the use of drugs that alter DNA methylation and histone acetylation. In addition, there are numerous other clinical applications of the field being explored in areas such as cancer screening and early detection, prevention, classification for epidemiology and prognostic purposes, and predicting outcomes after standard therapy.
This AACR Special Conference on cancer epigenetics assembled over 400 prominent investigators in the field to discuss recent advances in this rapidly moving area. Sessions reviewed mechanisms and recent advances in whole genome epigenetic analysis of cancer. Several sessions examined specific clinical applications such as diagnostics and therapeutics, and workshops discussed practical research and translational issues such as methods of whole genome epigenetic analysis and definition of hypermethylator phenotypes. This conference provided a unique forum to review the remarkable progress in this area over the past few years, and provided a glimpse of where the field is moving, including a strong emphasis of translational epigenetics research.
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Please visit the AACR Meetings & Workshops Calendar for a complete list of upcoming programs.