CANCER EPIGENETICS: NEW MECHANISMS, NEW THERAPIES, BRECKENRIDGE, FEBRUARY 10-14, 2018
The field of epigenetics has recently emerged as an essential component of oncology research, with altered epigenetic modifications considered to be critical hallmarks of cancers. Unlike mutations, epigenetic aberrations are reversible and as a result, epigenetic therapies hold great promise as anti-cancer agents. For these novel therapies to succeed, a key challenge is to fully understand the nature and the mechanisms that lead to epigenetic changes in cancer. Another essential challenge is to make sense of the avalanche of data flowing from increasingly powerful "omics-based" technologies. Despite these challenges, never has the potential for scientific and clinical breakthroughs in this field been greater. Bringing together both the academic and the pharmaceutical communities, this Keystone Symposia conference will focus on: 1) The newest findings concerning the mechanisms by which epigenetic pathways are established and maintained in normal and stem cells, and how these go awry during aging and cancer, with a special emphasis on histone modifications, chromatin remodeling and the unexpected increased number of DNA modifications ((hydroxy)methylcytosine and methyladenine); 2) The growing roles of noncoding RNAs in cancer and the emergence of the new and exciting realm of RNA epigenetics; 3) Use of new omics technologies to interrogate altered epigenetic landscapes in tumors and assess their clinical implications; and 4) Novel and promising therapeutic drugs aimed at reversing specific epigenetic alterations. Ultimately, the meeting will provide great opportunities for senior and junior scientists to meet the leaders in the field from both academia and industry, hence forging exciting interdisciplinary interactions and creating potential new collaborations in the booming area of cancer epigenetics.