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Animal Models of Cancer Conference: From Cancer Genetics to Precision Oncology

The first genetically engineered mice were created more than 40 years ago. Since then, steady improvements in the field have allowed for the generation of experimentally controllable and genetically accurate models for many human cancers. Recent technological advances...
Lisbon, Lisbon
The first genetically engineered mice were created more than 40 years ago. Since then, steady improvements in the field have allowed for the generation of experimentally controllable and genetically accurate models for many human cancers. Recent technological advances in genome editing are pushing this frontier and new animal models are directly impacting precision medicine approaches by enabling the functional evaluation of larger numbers of genetic and epigenetic alterations, by providing pre-clinical and co-clinical platforms to evaluate new therapies, and by allowing for the detailed study of tumor biology that cannot be approached in cell-based systems, immunocompromised animals, or patients. While animal modeling has been a staple of the cancer biology community for decades, it is only now maturing to its fullest potential. This conference will focus on three major areas: First, it will present new approaches to generate precise and complex genetic alterations in mice and other animals to better “humanize” models and allow for in vivo studies of cancer gene function. Second, it will highlight studies to investigate fundamental mechanisms of cancer initiation and progression, including the cell of origin of tumors, their evolution, their metabolism, and their interactions with the immune system. Finally, the meeting will explore how genetically engineered animal models can help evaluate the efficacy of novel therapeutic approaches and to decipher mechanisms of therapeutic resistance. ,Educational Need: Cancer genome sequencing provides an unprecedented view of recurrent alterations in human cancers and the development of highly effective targeted therapies and immune-modulatory therapies constitutes major victories. Nevertheless, the function of genes identified from genomic studies is often poorly characterized, leaving no means of therapeutic intervention. Moreover, cancers that are initially sensitive to therapy inevitably become resistant, often through mechanisms that are not well understood. Mouse models represent an experimental system to study cancer gene function and to evaluate the efficacy and resistance mechanisms associated with specific therapies. In the past few years, other animal models have also been instrumental in studying mechanisms of tumorigenesis. This conference will provide a forum for discussion on the past, present, and future of animal models for cancer, in particular the role that these models will play in the era of precision medicine. ,Key Sessions: • New technologies for cancer modelling • Modeling pre-cancers and tumor initiation • Cancer metabolism • Cancer/immune interactions and tumor microenvironment • Metastasis • Preclinical trials and resistance
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Oncology Genetics Molecular Biolo...