Many oncogenes and tumour suppressor genes have been identified and mapped to signalling pathways that regulate cell growth and death. Dysregulation allows oncogenes and tumour suppressor genes to transform mammalian cells and cancers arise in conditions where multiple such events occur in the same cell. Many proto-oncogenes and tumour suppressors have been mapped to canonical signalling pathways, providing a more holistic view of growth control mechanisms and paving the way for systems level analysis of cancer mechanisms. It has also been found that a subset of the cells present in a tumour, called cancer stem cells, retain the ability to self-renew and to give rise to all cell types in a particular cancer.
An emerging concept is that tumours also strongly depend on external signals for maintenance and expansion. To fully understand tumour development and progression, a deeper knowledge of the cross-talk between tumour cells and their microenvironment and the interactions between cancer cells and cancer stem cells is needed.
Aims of event
This symposium brings together researchers from complementing fields to enhance our understanding of the communication between cancer cells and their microenvironment. Important open questions are: Which signals do cancer cells transmit to and receive from the stroma and how do these signals promote malignant growth? What roles does the extracellular matrix play during neoplastic transformation? What is the contribution of immune cells to tumour progression? How is the inflammatory response of the tumour microenvironment regulated by the microbiota?
- Signalling pathways in stroma and cancers
- Cancer stem cells
- Cancer and the immune system
- Animal models of cancer
- Therapeutical implications: from bench to bedside