Nature India is proud to be associated with Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), New Delhi as media partner of the just concluded International Symposium on Current Advances in Radiobiology, Stem Cells and Cancer Research (February 19-21, 2015).
According to conference organising secretary Rana P. Singh, “The symposium focused on radiation therapy of cancer, mechanisms of radiation resistance in cancer, radiosensitizing agents and their mode of action, radiation carcinogenesis and targeting stem cells for cancer prevention.”
“It also discussed emerging trends in cancer stem cells, therapeutic targeting of cancer stem cells, novel mechanisms in cancer chemoprevention, development of phytopharmaceuticals for cancer chemoprevention and therapy, genetic and epigenetic mechanisms in the pathobiology of cancer, and advances in basic and translational cancer research.”
The symposium looked at developments in these areas and turned out to be a breeding ground for atypical and modernistic ideas among the participants, to combat the growing menace of cancer. The meeting was designed with an emphasis on advances in the translational aspects of cancer control.
Here’s an editorial titled Cancer Biology: Pre-clinical to Translational Research I wrote for the abstracts book of the conference:
In November 2014, Nature featured a body of work (1, 2, 3, 4, 5) extending the list of cancers that might respond to antitumour immunity restoration therapies by blocking the PD-1 pathway. There were results1, 2 from a phase I clinical trial of a monoclonal antibody (MPDL3280A) in patients with non-small-cell lung cancer, melanoma, renal-cell carcinoma and other solid tumours.
Experiments also showed how expression of PD-L1 on immune cells infiltrating tumours could be a key predictor of clinical activity2,3. A couple of findings4,5 suggested that ‘passenger’ mutations — cancer-cell mutations that do not directly contribute to cancer initiation and progression — play a key part in tumour immunity.
While the significance of cancer research and the mounting global burden of cancer can never be emphasised enough, the International Conference on Current Advances in Radiobiology, Stem Cells and Cancer Research is promising to give us some significant take homes. To begin with, a review of trends in these three key areas is expected to showcase results of new experiments from the world over.
For instance, in radiation therapy, the problem of radio-resistance and the probable mechanism that makes cancer cells more radio sensitive will be a novel area to explore. Also of interest will be the stem cell experiments, a relatively new area in cancer biology. The conference will present results from laboratories working on compounds that can target tumour like stem cells. Results from screening and evaluation of new natural compounds or phytopharmaceuticals and their anticancer mechanism are expected to add another interesting dimension to the well-rounded conference.
Nature India, a showcase of India’s science, is proud to be associated with the International Conference on Current Advances in Radiobiology, Stem Cells and Cancer Research. We hope that the conference will take a keen look at pre-clinical cancer biology in pinpointing a combination of best drugs and mechanisms for cancer treatment protocols. We also hope the conference, with a star-studded speaker list from around the world, will be a significant step towards identifying the most relevant translational research for times to come.
- Powles, T. et al. Nature 515, 558–562 (2014)
- Herbst, R. S. et al. Nature 515, 563–567 (2014)
- Tumeh, P. C. et al. Nature 515, 568–571 (2014)
- Yadav, M. et al. Nature 515, 572–576 (2014)
- Gubin, M. M. et al. Nature 515, 577–581 (2014)