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Stem Cells & Cancer
Gordon Research Conference

Conference Information

Status

Active

Initial Year

2007

Discipline

Biological

Categories

Meeting Cycle

24 Months

Conference Description

This Gordon Conference explores the role of stem cells in cancer. The organs in which cancers begin consist of a large sub-population of proliferating cells that are responsible for replenishing the short-lived mature cells. In such organs, cell maturation is arranged in a hierarchy in which a rare population of stem cells give rise to the mature cells and perpetuate themselves through a process called self renewal. Understanding the cellular biology of the tissues in which cancers arise. Aspects of stem cell biology are relevant to cancer. Both normal stem cells and at least some of the cancer cells in a tumor undergo self-renewal, and emerging evidence suggests that similar molecular mechanisms regulate self-renewal in normal stem cells and their malignant counterparts. In a normal tissue, stem cell numbers are under tight genetic regulation resulting in the maintenance a constant number of stem cells in the organ. By contrast, some cancer cells have escaped this homeostatic regulation and the number of cells within a tumor with the ability to self renew is constantly expanding, resulting in the inevitable growth of the tumor. Since cancer cells and normal stem cells share the ability to self-renew, it is not surprising that a number of genes classically associated with cancer may also regulate normal stem cell development.

Solid tumors are caricatures of the organ in which they arise. They consist of heterogeneous populations of cancer cells as well as a supporting stroma that consists of mesenchymal cells (fibroblasts), endothelial cells and inflammatory cells. Recent evidence suggests that in tumors arising in the blood, breast, and brain, only a subset of the cancer cells, called cancer stem cells, can establish tumors in a xenograft model. If true in patients, the cancer stem cells would be responsible for the growth and spread of the tumor and ultimately for patient morbidity and mortality. The goal of this meeting is to present the most current research into the cellular and molecular biology of cancer stem cells. Topics that are explored in this meeting are the cancer stem cell niche, the cell of origin of cancer stem cells, the regulation of stem cell self-renewal in normal stem cells and cancer, and cancer stem cells as therapeutic targets.

What is a GRC? Gordon Research Conferences (GRC) are 5-day meetings that bring scientists together from around the world to present and discuss unpublished research with other leaders in their field.

Related Conference

This Gordon Research Conference (GRC) series is related to the "Stem Cells & Cancer" Gordon Research Seminar (GRS) series. Although a related GRS will typically be scheduled in conjunction with its parent GRC each time it meets, that may not always be the case. Refer to the individual meetings in the Meeting History section below for more details. For more information about the associated Gordon Research Seminar (GRS) series, click here.

What is a GRS? Gordon Research Seminars (GRS) are 2-day meetings that bring graduate students and post-docs together to discuss their cutting edge research among peers and mentors. Each GRS immediately precedes an associated Gordon Research Conference (GRC), and topics addressed at the GRS relate closely to the GRC.

Meeting History

YearMeeting NameDatesConference SiteChair(s)
2017 Stem Cells & Cancer
Mechanisms of Stem Cell Aging, Cancer Initiation and Progression
Feb 12-17 Renaissance Tuscany Il Ciocco Lenhard Rudolph
2015 Stem Cells & Cancer
Exploring the Heterogeneity of Cancer Cells and Relevance to Therapy
Feb 15-20 Ventura Beach Marriott Leonard I. Zon
2013 Stem Cells & Cancer
Stem Cell Features in Cancer and Metastasis
Apr 21-26 Les Diablerets Conference Center Andreas Trumpp
2011 Stem Cells & Cancer Feb 20-25 Ventura Beach Marriott Catriona Jamieson
2009 Stem Cells & Cancer
Molecular Mechanisms Controlling Normal and Cancer Stem Cells
Sep 13-18 Les Diablerets Conference Center Maarten Van Lohuizen
2007 Stem Cells & Cancer Sep 9-14 Big Sky Resort Michael F. Clarke
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