This Forum has been generously sponsored by the 2019 Holiday Matching Program.

Leveraging Synthetic Lethality to treat Cancer

February 20th - 23rd, 2020

Chaired By

 Carla Grandori, MD, PhD, SEngine Precision Medicine
 Christopher Kemp, PhD, Fred Hutchinson

Important Dates

 12/20/2019 - Travel Form )
 01/20/2020 - Abstracts )

Venue Information

The Inn at Ranchero Santa Fee
5951 Linea Del Cielo
Rancho Santa Fe, CA 92067

Travel Agent Information

 Meeting #: Refer to your packet.
 Hours: 8:00am – 8:00 pm EST M-F
 Domestic: 669-210-8002
 International : 623-516-6140

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Program Description

Two major roadblock to improve cancer patient outcome are 1) the shortage of available targeted agents and 2) lack of precision in assigning existing drugs to patients. Most cancer drug development efforts focus on a small number of genes that are commonly mutated in cancer such as activated oncogenes. While there are obvious benefits to focusing on such targets and their downstream signaling components, a broader approach to target discovery will almost certainly provide increased opportunities. There are currently only ~ 100 cancer genes being targeted in the clinic yet the human genome contains at least 22,000 coding genes. Cancers have many vulnerabilities beyond mutated genes, for example, synthetic and collateral lethal genes, developmental pathways, lineage dependencies and other non-oncogene addictions. While there is increasing interest in synthetic lethality, examples of clinical success remain limited. The purpose of this forum will be to highlight roadblocks to exploiting synthetic lethality for clinical benefit and strategies to overcome these.

Here, we use a relaxed definition of synthetic lethality to include lineage dependencies and non-oncogene addictions as well as the use of drug combinatorics (e.g. targeting multiple pathways simultaneously). This will insure the meeting achieves the broadest possible impact as these ideas are interrelated and complementary.

The meeting will generate workable solutions to two major issues:

  1. What are the challenges and best practices to discovery of synthetic lethal targets: best practices, model systems, computational methods.
  2. What are the challenges and best practices for clinical translation: drug development, drug repurposing, biomarkers, clinical trial design in the era of personalized medicine.

Participant Information

Participant Institution
Cheryl Arrowsmith, PhD Princess Margaret Cancer Center
Jonathan B. Baell, PhD Monash University
Rene Bernards, PhD Netherlands Cancer Institute
Andrew Biankin, MD University of Glasgow
Charles Boone, PhD University of Toronto
Nyasha Chambwe, PhD St. Jude Children's Research Hospital
Adrienne D. Cox, PhD University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Mathew Garnett, PhD Wellcome Sanger Institute
Carla Grandori, MD, PhD SEngine Precision Medicine
Christopher Kemp, PhD Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
Razelle Kurzrock, MD UC San Diego
Christopher Lord Institute of Cancer Research, London
Beverly Mock, PhD National Institutes of Health
Diane Simeone, MD NYU Langone Health
Paul Workman The Institute of Cancer Research
Michael Yaffe, MD, PhD MIT

Scholars Attending

Scholar Institution
Brooke Emerling, PhD Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute
Andrew Venteicher, MD, PhD University of Minnesota
Mark Zimmerman, PhD Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

Airport Information

San Diego International Airport (SAN) is approximately 30 minutes from the meeting location.

  • Arrivals - Thursday at 1 PM, 3 PM and 5 PM
  • Departures - Sunday at 10 AM and 12 PM

International participants are welcome to arrive on Wednesday to minimize chances for missed or delayed connections.


The abstracts should be only one or two paragraphs outlining the theme of your presentation and should reflect the objective and spirit of the meeting (see above). Abstracts will be circulated about one week before the meeting. The meeting organizer will start requesting them a month before the meeting.

This Forum has been generously sponsored by the 2019 Holiday Matching Program.