Support is requested for a Keystone Symposia meeting entitled Tumor Metabolism, organized by William G. Kaelin, Jr., Benjamin F. Cravatt III and Peter K. Jackson. The meeting will be held in Whistler, British Columbia, Canada from March 16 - 21, 2014. The recent discovery of mutations affecting metabolic enzymes in various cancers has renewed interest in understanding how altered metabolism causes cancer and is using that information to diagnose and treat this disease. It is also becoming clear that some of the targets of altered metabolism in cancer are enzymes involved in epigenetic regulation, (for example, histone demethylases or histone deacetylases), that utilize metabolites (e.g. 2-oxoglutarate or NAD) as cofactors. This observation provides a conceptual foundation for understanding how nutrition and metabolism can affect cancer risk in the general population. The Keystone Symposia meeting on Tumor Metabolism will bring together a diverse group of scientists from academia and industry with basic and translational interests surrounding cancer metabolism. With a particular focus on metabolic enzymes as potential targets for treating and/or imaging cancer cells, this meeting hopes to attract a diverse group of scientists, including biologists, chemists, and engineers. Importantly, the meeting will provide participants with a greater understanding of the language and logic of cellular metabolism and provide a sense of the translational opportunities emerging from our growing knowledge of the role that altered metabolism plays in cancer. Opportunities for interdisciplinary interactions will be significantly enhanced by joint keynote and plenary sessions with the concurrent meeting on Metabolism and Angiogenesis.
Deep sequencing of cancer genomes is providing a more complete picture of the genes that, when mutated, cause cancer. Among these are metabolic genes, such as SDH, FH, and IDH, which are providing the first genetic evidence, dating back to Otto Warburg, that altered metabolism could cause cancer. Genes linked to epigenetics, such as histone demethylases, histone methyltransferases, and chromatin remodelers, are also recurrently altered in cancer. Recent work suggests that these two observations are linked because a number of epigenetic enzymes are sensitive to changes in metabolism. This extremely timely Keystone Symposia meeting on Tumor Metabolism will bring together investigators who focus on cancer metabolism and cancer epigenetics.