Primary and Metastatic Brain Cancers – Molecular Pathways and Clinical Challenges
June 12-14, 2013
McGill University, Montreal (Quebec) Canada
Welcome words from the MISAM Chairs
It is with a great pleasure that we invite you to the Montreal International Symposium on Angiogenesis and Metastasis – MISAM-2013, which will take place in historic and beautiful Montreal on June 12-14, 2013. This bi-annual event aims to bring together scientists working in areas related to disseminated disease, angiogenesis and metastasis in order to tackle together this great challenge common to all cancers, but yet so diverse.
We have held this event twice already. MISAM 2009 was devoted to metastatic breast cancer and pediatric solid tumours, while MISAM 2011 focused on colorectal cancer. In each case, we brought together over 200 scientists who met, shared ideas and debated the critical issues of the day. This year (2013), we have chosen to focus on disseminated brain tumours, an area where unmet needs could not be greater.
During cancer development, the engagement of the vascular system signifies progression from a local to a systemic disease with a ‘quantum leap’ in therapeutic challenges. Thus, angiogenesis and metastasis are deeply interconnected, both biologically and therapeutically. Indeed, new therapies directed at tumor angiogenesis are used in metastatic cancers with evidence of efficacy, but also yielding valuable lessons and providing reasons for caution. As scores of promising new therapeutics are making their way through basic, translational, clinical and pipeline research, there is a pressing need to intensify collective efforts to understand how these agents can become more effective, safer and potentially curative.
In spite of the rapid progress in targeted drug development, many important questions remain unanswered, and many challenges unmet. Considerable opportunities lie in bringing together distinct perspectives that have emerged in various areas of research on angiogenesis and metastasis. These may be highly complementary, but are often pursued as separate solitudes and infrequently brought under the same roof. The MISAM 2013 meeting will address the biological spectrum of angiogenesis and metastasis and focus the discussions on primary and metastatic brain cancers.
Brain tumours represent a major and frightening personal and medical challenge, but changes are on the horizon. The MISAM 2013 meeting is designed to convey the sense of this emerging momentum and its major constituents, as well as the still unexplored opportunities. Recent technological advances in genomics led, in less than a decade, to an explosion in the understanding of molecular genetics of brain tumours in adults and recently in children. This spectacular progress revealed the unexpected diversity and multiplicity of disease subtypes, their driving mutations and pathways, as well as the heterogeneity and genetic phylogeny of evolving lineages of tumour initiating cells. The next wave of discoveries has already begun pointing to the role of epigenetics and chromatin architecture in brain tumour initiation and progression. Indeed, these fascinating studies are on the verge of being assigned more functional and biological meaning, and about to enter therapeutic translation. This is the time to capture this momentum, catalyze further developments and facilitate the exchange in this dynamic and fascinating field. MISAM 2013 is designed to do just that.
The meeting will bring together experts in brain tumour genetics, molecular pathology and investigators studying key biological processes and therapeutics. Discussions on new driver mutations will be interwoven with studies on the biology of the diffuse growth, invasion and intracranial dissemination, anatomical and developmental determinants of the disease and unique vascular microenvironment. Speakers and participants will bring their insights on the role in such processes as drug delivery, biomarkers, imaging technologies, therapeutic responses, stem cell niche formation, angiogenesis and metastasis from extracranial tumour sites. Moreover, adult clinical neuro-oncologists, clinical trialists and basic researchers will have a rare opportunity to meet their pediatric counterparts.
MISAM 2013 represents a deliberate and unique effort to bring down the barriers, blend diverse research streams and offer a creative ambiance of composed of the interdisciplinary faculty, participants and the public. The key notes will be struck by leading international and national speakers, and complemented by presentations from graduate and post-graduate trainees, competing for the Phil Gold Scientist-In-Training Awards.
We offer you a unique program filled with the latest advances, as well as emerging concepts and ideas in key areas of angiogenesis and metastasis research in brain cancer. We hope to stimulate discussions that will continue outside of the lecture halls and extend beyond the two-day symposium. Our city with its picturesque streets, world-renowned restaurants and long-standing tradition of thought, learning, science and humanism will provide the ideal surrounding for this exciting exchange of ideas.
We invite you to MISAM 2013 and to Montreal!
Nicole, Janusz, Nada, Pnina, Josephine and Peter