February 12 - 15, 2008
Los Angeles Marriott Downtown
Los Angeles, California
John E. Dick, University Health Network, Toronto, ON, Canada
Jane Visvader, The Walter & Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research, Parkville, VIC, Australia
Nearly 400 scientists from academia, government, and industry participated in the first AACR Special Conference focused on Cancer Stem Cells. The program featured keynote presentations from Dr. Stephen B. Baylin and Dr. Stuart H. Orkin as well as 8 plenary sessions and two poster sessions. Plenary sessions addressed Asymmetric Cell Division and Lineage Commitment; Quiescence, Aging, and Oxidative Stress; Stem Cells in Epithelial Organs; Animal Models for Dissecting Cancer Stem Cells; Recapitulating Human Cancer; Normal Stem Cell Niche; Tumor Stem Cell Niche; and Therapies Targeting Cancer Stem Cells and Cancer Stem Cell Profiling. In addition to the invited presentations, over 250 posters were presented from proffered papers.
At the time of this Special Conference, there was increasing evidence that a small subset of cells termed cancer stem cells were the only cells in a cancer capable of initiating tumor growth in transplantation assays. These cells were believed to share unique properties with normal adult stem cells including the ability to self-renew and undergo differentiation, albeit aberrant. Cancer stem cells are responsible for initiating and sustaining tumor growth but are predicted to be refractory to current therapies which are designed to eradicate actively cycling cells. Changes in the surrounding specialized microenvironment (niche) of the tumor cells can also directly influence tumor growth. This Special Conference focused on the properties of both normal and cancer stem cells, the molecular pathways important for their function, and the role of the stem cell niche.
Please visit the AACR Meetings & Workshops Calendar for a complete list of upcoming programs.