Cancer is now recognized as an abnormal organ where multiple cell types cooperate during cancer initiation and metastatic progression. Enormous progress has been made on identifying and characterizing different cell types, understanding the mechanisms by which these cell types interact with each other, developing ways to image the changes in a tumor and exploring therapeutic opportunities that take into account the non-cancer cells. Thus, there is an emergence of a need for an integrative approach for controlling cancer. However, most cancer meetings are organized to focus on one or two aspects of the many aspects of the biology of tumor. The proposed meeting takes an integrative approach to create a platform and bring together world leaders in different aspects of cancer biology ranging from molecular imaging, tumor cell biology, mouse models and tumor immunology. We believe that such an integrative approach will certainly trigger discussions and interactions that cross the disciplinary borders and find new ways to develop and deliver novel therapeutic strategies for controlling cancer. Participants will be drawn from academic labs, research institutes and biotech/pharmaceutical industries, and will include leaders in the field, established investigators, junior faculty, postdoctoral fellows, graduate students and corporate scientists. To ensure the presentation of the most cutting edge results many speakers will be chosen based on the quality of abstracts submitted to the meeting coordinators and session chairs several months prior to the meeting. To maximize broad participation, efforts have been made to include outstanding women scientists and scientists from abroad as session chairs and invited speakers. Each session will be chaired by a leading scientist in the field selected by the organizers. Oral presentations will be selected from submitted abstracts by the session chairs in consultation with the organizers. Selected speakers will include graduate students, postdoctoral fellows and junior faculty aiming for maximal inclusion of young investigators. Of special importance are the two poster sessions and panel discussion. The poster session provide an opportunity for many participants to present their work in an atmosphere conducive to informal discussion and the panel discussion engages thought leaders and the participants on one or two highly debated topics in cancer research such as promises and perils of personalized therapy or utility of patient derived xenograft models. Two special lectures will be presented to highlight important or rapidly moving areas. The meeting will be of moderate size and we expect about 350 people to attend, the vast majority of whom will be presenting a poster or talk. The subsequent biennially conferences will follow a similar format and will include topics that are highly relevant at the time of the meeting.
Recent advances in understanding the biology of cancer has educated us that controlling cancer requires an integrative approach bringing together the expertise of physicists, developing ways to image cells, immunologists, developing ways to harness the immune system, cell biologists, identifying new ways to stop the growth of tumor, and mouse modelers, developing relevant models to study human cancers. Most of the cancer conferences are usually focused on one or two of the above-mentioned disciplines. Although large annual cancer conferences span the breadth of these topics, their large size do not foster an ideal platform for intense scientific discussion, debate and collaborations. The proposed CSHL meeting will bring together world leaders in the above-mentioned disciplines in a medium-size meeting format at a location that has a history of running outstanding conferences. In doing so, the meeting is likely to foster interactions that will lead to discovering new ways of controllng cancer.