News and trends in cancer research

Some twenty of the world's leading cancer researchers will participate in a conference at Karolinska Institutet. Their presentations will be alternated with the latest news from Swedish cancer research. Everything from tumour biology to drug development and health service implementation, within all cancer areas.

Journalists are welcome to attend the conference and interview the researchers.

Conference: Swedish Cancer Research Meeting 2014
Date: 2-3 September 2014
Venue: Aula Medica, Nobels väg 6, Karolinska Institutet Campus Solna
Programme  

Aside from the packed academic programme, there will also be various seminars on how health services, research and industry can collaborate so that new and innovative drugs can reach the patients more quickly.

On the theme of treatment on the academic programme, there will be a lot of focus on the hot topic of immunotherapy. The idea is to activate the patient's own immune defence to attack the cancer cells. These kinds of drugs are currently available on the market to treat the skin cancer malignant melanoma, and several new substances are on their way. Jedd Wolchok, Memorian Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York, is the main author of a study looking at how these drugs can be combined for extra effect. Both have been invited to speak at the conference.

“The hope is that this is a strategy that could also save lives in the long term, as well as when the disease has spread very far,” says Arne Östman, Professor in Molecular Oncology at Karolinska Institutet and one of the organisers behind the conference.

Glivec is a leukaemia drug that has radically changed the care in this area. One of the main researchers behind Glivec is Charles Sawyers, Memorian Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York. He has also participated in the development of new treatments for prostate cancer, which block androgen receptor signals. Sawyers is the keynote speaker at the conference.

Intensive research on cancer heredity has been conducted for several years. Now the possibility has been raised of not only identifying persons with a high genetic risk of cancer, but also to provide them with preventive treatment before the cancer breaks out.

“The first studies on preventive treatment will hopefully begin within a few years. However, it will be a long time before we obtain any results that can be evaluated, as we have to study the onset of cancer.” The current situation in this field will be described by Paul Pharoah, University of Cambridge, UK, among others.

New cancer drugs have shown that it is possible to halt tumour growth by attacking different forms of supporting cells found inside the tumour, such as the cells forming its blood vessels. Zena Werb, University of California, is one of the foremost experts when it comes to the interaction between healthy and morbid cells. This field is undergoing significant development and Werb will talk about recent progress.

Several of the speakers, such as Timothy Chan, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York, and Lucy Yates, The Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, Cambridge, UK, will also report on new findings established within large international networks that have used new DNA sequencing technology to provide a picture of the genetic differences between tumour cells and healthy cells.

The conference is organised in collaboration with the three strategic cancer research networks StratCan, U-CAN and BioCare as well as Regional Cancer Center, Stockholm/Gotland.

If you have any questions, please contact:

Professor Arne Östman
Tel: +46 (0)8-517 702 32 or +46 (0)70-311 71 44
E-mail: arne.ostman@ki.se 

PhD, research coordinator Sandra Falck
Tel: +46 (0)8-524 810 50 or +46 (0)73-712 12 05
E-mail: Sandra.Falck@ki.se

Press Officer Sabina Bossi
Tel: +46 (0)8-524 860 66 or +46 (0)70-614 60 66
E-mail: sabina.bossi.@ki.se

Karolinska Institutet is one of the world’s leading medical universities. It accounts for over 40 per cent of the medical academic research conducted in Sweden and offers the country’s broadest range of education in medicine and health sciences. Since 1901 the Nobel Assembly at Karolinska Institutet has selected the Nobel laureates in Physiology or Medicine.

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