This application seeks support for a biennial scientific conference series entitled 'Lipid Signaling Pathways in Cancer'. The conferences are sponsored by the Federation of the American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB) as part of their biennial Summer Research Conference (SRC) Series and are co- organized by Dr. Alan P. Fields of the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine and Dr. Marcelo Kazanietz of the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. The next conference will be held at the Carefree Resort in Carefree, Arizona on July 19-24, 2009 with subsequent conferences scheduled for summer of 2011 and summer 2013. Support provided through funding of this application will be used to partially finance the costs of registration fees and travel expenses for junior investigators, including graduate students and post-doctoral fellows, invited to present their work at these conferences. The conference is held over the course of 4 days, with more than 30 invited leaders in the field attending to present the latest breakthroughs in this highly relevant area of cancer research. Recent exciting developments in the field of lipid signaling will be presented that have reinforced the concept that lipid mediators play key roles in the initiation and progression of cancer. For example, tumor-specific genetic alterations in proteins involved in phosphoinositide and PKC signaling have been found in many human cancers, highlighted the importance of these lipid signaling pathways in tumorigenesis. Exciting findings in PI 3-K/Akt/mTOR, PKC, DAG-dependent GTPases, lipid modifications of Ras family GTPases, and sphingomyelinase signaling and the role of these pathways in tumorigenesis will also be discussed. Many of these lipid signaling pathways are attractive candidates for development of novel therapeutic strategies for cancer treatment. Indeed, novel therapeutics that target several of these lipid signaling pathways are currently being evaluated in the clinic. Particular emphasis will therefore be placed on translational studies of lipid signaling pathways that may lead to promising new clinical cancer treatments. Given the rapid developments in this fertile research area, a biennial meeting schedule is appropriate. No other regularly scheduled conference focuses on this burgeoning area, and this conference series is poised to become a major forum for effective scientific interchange that will serve to facilitate advances in this field over the next five years.
Lipid signaling pathways function to allow cells to communicate with and respond to their environment, and in turn to function appropriately. In human cancer, these lipid signaling mechanisms are often dysregulated, either by inherited or somatic genetic mutations, or as a result of epigenetic changes in expression or activity of the genes encoding key components of lipid signaling pathways. A major focus of this project is to provide a forum to discuss advances in basic knowledge of lipid signaling mechanisms and how this knowledge is being translated into novel therapeutic strategies that will impact clinical oncology practice.