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18-19 March 2010

First Annual IMPPC Conference

The IMPPC holds its first annual conference as planned


Joan Roca Acín, Director General For Research for the Department of Innovation, Universities and Enterprise of the Generalitat of Catalonia opened the conference and welcomed speakers and delegates.

Sir Walter Bodmer from the Weatherall Institute of Medicine, University of Oxford, opened with an overview of the Genetics and Epigenetics of Colorectal Cancer from its earliest beginnings to current day breakthroughs. Professor Bodmer is internationally known for his cancer research, role in science management and policy-making in the UK and for his appearances in the press and on TV to explain complex scientific issues to the general public.

Joan Roca Acín, Director General For Research for the Department of Innovation, Universities and Enterprise of the Generalitat of Catalonia opened the conference and welcomed speakers and delegates.

Sir Walter Bodmer from the Weatherall Institute of Medicine, University of Oxford, opened with an overview of the Genetics and Epigenetics of Colorectal Cancer from its earliest beginnings to current day breakthroughs. Professor Bodmer is internationally known for his cancer research, role in science management and policy-making in the UK and for his appearances in the press and on TV to explain complex scientific issues to the general public.

The Conference continued with three focussed sessions.

Cancer Genetics
Frank McCormick, University of California San Francisco, Director of the Helen Diller Cancer Center, spoke on cancer treatments based on the Ras pathway. Webster Cavenee, Director of the Ludwig Institute, University of California San Diego gave pointers on why targeted therapies sometimes fail and discussed some of the problems encountered in personalized treatments already in use. From the Catalan Institute of Oncology Gabriel Capellà discussed the advances and some of the challenges in diagnosis of hereditary colorectal cancer, while Miguel Angel Piris, from the Spanish National Research Center in Madrid (CNIO) described other targeted treatments for lymphomas.

Cancer Epigenetics
International names from Australia, the USA and Barcelona contributed to an exciting session on how aspects of the structure of the DNA helix that do not change the nucleotide sequence of the genes (epigenetic changes), are now known to be as important as the codes within it for the diagnosis and prognosis of cancers. Speakers included Susan Clark from the Garvan Insitute at the University of Sidney and Manel Esteller from the Program in Epigenetics and Biology of Cancer (PEBC) Barcelona. Three investigators from the IMPPC contributed; Marcus Buschbeck on the role of one of the histones, MacroH2A, in the development of cancer, Miguel Àngel Peinado spoke about talk about lesser known aspects in "Illuminating the Dark Side of the Epigenome" and the director, Manuel Perucho explained a novel "wear and tear" model linking aging with cancer through the accumulation of epigenetic errors.

Cancer Prediction
In this session speakers included leading researchers: Albert Tenesa, School of Molecular and Clinical Medicine, University of Edinburgh, Ian Tomlinson, Wellcome Trust for Human Genetics, University of Oxford, Augustin Ruiz, from Neocodex Inc., and Jun Yokota from the National Cancer Center Research Institute The closing talk was given by Alan Balmain from the University of San Francisco, Helen Diller Cancer Center who talked about cancer complexity and what we can learn from genetic analysis of tumour susceptibility.

Miquel Gómez Clares, Director of the Director Plan for Scientific Policy of the Ministry of Health of the Generalitat of Catalonia thanked all the speakers and participants on behalf of the Generalitat of Catalonia and encouraged the members of the international scientific community to return often to Barcelona.

Taking advantage of the presence of many of the leading figures in predictive and personalized medicine of cancer various other events and meetings were arranged. The members of the Scientific Advisory Board present took advantage of the fact to hold a brief meeting with Manuel Perucho and tour the IMPPC building.

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Generalitat de Catalunya

Unió Europea

CSIC

Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona

Ajuntament de Badalona

Institut Català de la Salut

Germans Trias i Pujol Hospital

Fundació Institut d'investigació en Ciències de la Salut Germans Trias i Pujol