Birth Defects & Cancer: The Intersection of Genes & Prenatal Exposure

September 10-11, 2012


Developmental Biology, Genetics & Teratology (DBGT) Branch, NICHD; National Cancer Institute (NCI)


Hyatt Regency, Atlanta, Georgia


The objective of the workshop is to bring together experts/scientists working on birth defects and cancer to address the intersection of childhood cancer and birth defects, including the influence of prenatal exposures and genetic factors. The workshop will bring together a multidisciplinary team of experts to assess progress made and to prioritize research gaps.

Experts will present their perspectives on major facets of birth defects and cancer research. Relatively limited investigations have focused on the intersection of genes and prenatal exposures and even fewer have focused on periconceptional or pre-pregnancy exposures that may predispose to occurrence of:

  • Birth defects,
  • Pediatric cancers arising in children with birth defects,
  • Pediatric cancer-predisposing genetic conditions,
  • Cancer in children from families in the absence of a clearly defined cancer-predisposing genetic disorder, and
  • Cancer in children with non-familial chromosomal syndromes.

The workshop will be the first step in highlighting opportunities and challenges in improving upon and developing new methodologies and resources to study the role of genetics, environmental exposures and gene-environment interaction in etiologies of childhood cancers, and birth defects. For each topic, an expert with diverse perspectives will offer an assessment of the state of the science, main challenges, and most attractive opportunities. Moderators will lead active discussions among the speakers and the participants.

In addition, a major part of the workshop will include a moderated panel discussion featuring several experts. The goal of the multidisciplinary panel discussion will be to clarify and prioritize the major workshop recommendations and to further enhance the scientific knowledge of the connection between birth defects and cancer with the goal of preventing these conditions.

This workshop is a pre-meeting to the Clinical Oncology Group (COG) meeting that will be held at the same location, September 11 to 14, 2012.

For more information, including agenda and registration information, visit

Meeting registration is free, but registration is required due to limited space.


Dr. Lorette Javois, DBGT Branch, NICHD
Phone: 301-496-5541

Dr. Somdat Mahabir, NCI
Phone: 301-496-0270

Please note: Views expressed during NICHD-sponsored events do not necessarily reflect the opinions or the official positions of NICHD, NIH, or HHS.
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