27th Annual Fanconi Anemia Research Fund Scientific Symposium Fanconi anemia (FA) is a rare hereditary disease characterized by bone marrow failure (BMF), developmental anomalies, cellular hypersensitivity to cross-linking agents and a high and early incidence of malignancy including myelodysplasia, acute non-lymphocytic leukemia, and solid tumors. Evaluation of adult FA patients reveals a striking incidence of squamous cell carcinomas, especially of the head and neck and gynecological tract. Moreover, the genetic instability of somatic cells in FA patients means that exposure to ionizing radiation, environmental carcinogens and chemotherapeutic agents pose unique risks to affected individuals. Specific biochemical functions of the FA proteins remain largely unknown, but form a DNA damage-dependent signaling pathway. This pathway promotes the monoubiquitination of the FA proteins FANCD2 and FANCI to initiate DNA repair and promote survival pathways. Loss of FA pathway function can compromise cell function, genomic stability and survival by mechanisms shared by cells from both FA and non-FA individuals. Treatment options for the multiple FA pathologies remain limited. Hematopoietic stem cell transplantation remains the treatment of choice for eligible patients with BMF. However, FA is an ideal candidate for gene and cell-based therapies because of the inherent selective advantage of complemented stem cells. Novel therapeutic options are needed to treat other FA-related pathologies, including squamous cell carcinomas, particularly as the patients cannot tolerate conventional radiation and chemotherapeutic approaches to malignancy. The 27th Annual Fanconi Anemia Research Fund Scientific Symposium will be held 17-20 September 2015 at the Westin Harbour Castle in Toronto, Canada. This Symposium brings together an international group of leading scientists and physicians including many new and young investigators, patients and their families to discuss basic science, clinical and translational aspects of FA. Approximately 200 researchers and clinicians are expected to participate in the three-day conference comprised of invited keynote and/or special session presenters, together with approximately 45 oral abstract presentations in a single-track format, interspersed with one or two panel presentations designed for greater interactivity. Up to 60 additional abstracts may be selected for poster presentations. Extended poster session receptions and on-site meals have been designed to foster ongoing discussion and informal meeting and discussion among attendees. This Symposium provides a unique opportunity for investigators to develop interdisciplinary projects, as evidenced by subsequent research proposals received for the Fund's consideration. No registration fee is charged. Travel expenses are reimbursed for oral abstract presenters, key-note speakers and special session participants. Limited travel support is available upon request for poster presenters who would otherwise be unable to attend. This application seeks support for travel costs for speakers, key personnel, and young investigators to attend this important conference.

Public Health Relevance

27th Annual Fanconi Anemia Research Fund Scientific Symposium The annual Fanconi Anemia Research Fund Scientific Symposium is the only major scientific conference that focuses exclusively on Fanconi anemia (FA) and integrates the clinical and basic science of FA. The importance of the FA genes including BRCA2 in tumor suppression, DNA repair, stem cell function, and suppression of apoptosis and senescence is now well-established. Thus the study of FA genes has an impact that extends well beyond patients and families affected by this rare disease. In addition to insights into marrow function and failure, aging, radiation sensitivity and other areas of broad scientific and clinical interest acquired abnormalities of FA gene expression that may modify prognosis and the response to therapy have been reported in patients with sporadic malignancies of the blood, head and neck, lung, ovary, and breast. (End of Abstract)

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI)
Conference (R13)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZHL1)
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Chang, Henry
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Fanconi Anemia Research Fund, Inc.
United States
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