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Scientific highlights

Basic insights are more and more translated into the clinic al practice of neuroblastoma. ANR2020 will highlight the breakthrough developments in seven major plenary sessions, where clinical, translational and fundamental findings will be integrated in a number of major themes. Each session will be moderated by experts in the field and include invited speakers andpresentations selected from proffered abstracts. Four excellent key note speakers will fuel these sessions and the world-top of neuroblastoma experts will moderate them.

Session 1: Neuroblastoma as developmental disease

The clinical and biological heterogeneity of neuroblastoma is perplexing. New technologies currently redefine the normal development of the sympatho-adrenergic lineage. This session will integrate the latest insights in normal development, tumor heterogeneity and clinical behavior.

Session 2: Targeted therapy: ALK and other targets in personalized medicine

ALK inhibition is quintessential for the development of precision medicine in neuroblastoma: early development, unclear early clinical results followed by more effective strategies and the associated challenge of resistance. Many other targets are piloted from bench to bedside and will be discussed. A keynote lecture of Ruth Palmer will highlight ALK biology and how this discovery has impacted on current treatment.

Session 3: Progress in treatment and challenges for preclinical studies

This session will provide an update on the major treatment studies for high risk neuroblastoma in the world and is intended for both clinical and basic researchers. Relapse treatment studies will be reviewed, as well as local tumor control by surgery and radiotherapy and the role of new imaging technologies.

Session 4: A deeper look into neuroblastoma tumor heterogeneity and clinical behaviour

Novel technology including single cell analysis and liquid biopsies are revolutionizing our insights into tumor heterogeneity and clinical behaviour. Here, the latest results for neuroblastoma will be brought together, offering insight in tumor cell heterogeneity, immune cell infiltrate and clinical consequences. A keynote lecture of Mario Suva will highlight similar developments in brain tumors.

Sessions 5: Neuroblastoma tumour biology and omics: from bench to the clinic

This session will focus on new insights from tumors and model systems providing novel layers of omics information (gene expression, splicing, chromatin, epigenetics, metabolomics, proteomics, ….) in addition to DNA sequencing and structural defects. These novel insights also drive new risk stratifications and identification of new potential druggable targets. Hans Clevers will give a keynote talk on organoid models of cancer as a novel tool for understanding tumor biology.

Session 6: Gene regulatory networks and epigenetics: from basic science to therapy

The gene regulatory networks that control neuroblastoma cells are finally being identified. They appear to be tightly linked to the epigenetic landscape of the tumor genome. This session will highlight these novel developments and the therapeutic potential of drugs interfering with epigenetics. A keynote lecture by Denis Hnisz  who spearheaded insights in gene regulatory networks will introduce this session.

Session 7: Progress and hurdles in immune therapy of neuroblastoma

This session will present progress and hurdles of immune therapy in neuroblastoma offering updates on anti-GD2 protocols and studies for other targets of antibody-mediated therapy and CART approaches currently under development and in early clinical trials.