The recent EORTC-NCI-ASCO Annual Meeting on ‘Molecular Markers in Cancer’ was held on 15--17 November 2007 in Brussels, Belgium. It was the largest meeting to date and marked the first year in which the American Association of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) joined in the efforts of the European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC) and the National Cancer Institute (NCI) in organizing this annual event. More than 300 clinicians, pathologists, laboratory scientists and representatives from regulatory agencies and the pharmaceutical industry came together for three days of intense discussion, debate and reflection on the latest biomarker therapeutic discoveries, strategies and clinical applications. The poster discussion sessions featured 79 research abstracts. The three most outstanding abstracts, all authored by young female researchers, were selected for presentation during the main meeting sessions. Highlights of each scientific session are presented.