Important international cancer symposium December 2-4

Keynote speakers: (from left), Pelicci, Clevers and Matsui
Keynote speakers: (from left), Pelicci, Clevers and Matsui

The second Norwegian Cancer Symposium 2009 - "Frontiers in Cancer Stem Cell Research: From basic science towards a cure" - will be held in Oslo December 2-4. The three keynote lectures will be given by the following top international speakers: Pier Giuseppe Pelicci (Milan, Italy), Hans Clevers (Utrecht, The Netherlands) and William Matsui (Baltimore, USA).

The meeting will be opened by the Minister of health, and there will be given a reception by the Mayor of the city, thus emphasizing the significance of the event. About 200 researchers from all over the world are expected to attend the meeting.

It is possible to register until November 23rd.
The deadline for poster abstract submission was 20th of October

Introduction to the symposium, from the head of the organization committee - Ola Myklebost:

O. Myklebost
O. Myklebost
The recent surge of knowledge from stem cell biology has had a major impact on cancer research, and a stream of reports document the involvement of stem-like cells in cancer initiation and progression. Most exciting has perhaps been the so-called cancer stem cell hypothesis, which in its strictest form proposes that there is a hierarchy of cells in each tumour, and that a small fraction of stem-like cancer cells gives rise to all cells of the tumour in a similar way as normal stem cells give rise to all mature cells in a tissue. Because stem-like cells may be motile and would be more resistant to current treatments, such cells could be more likely to give rise to recurrencies and metastases. On the other hand, therapies targeting such cells may be able to transform a cancer into a benign tumour, or prevent its relapse upon therapy. We know that cancer is not one disease, and should not believe that such a model explains all cases, but investigations into heterogeneity of cancer cells, the presence of small fractions of stem-like cells, and how tumour cells may become more stem-like and invasive e.g. in response to therapy, has generated enormous interest in this field.

Thanks to a generous grant from Norsk Hydros Fond for Kreftforskning, we have been able to invite a distinguished list of top international speakers, although a couple have had to be replaced by senior lab members (e.g. Bob Weeinberg and Mina Bissell). The list is long, and I can only mention the three keynote lectures, sponsored by our collaborators at the European Association for Cancer research, the Norwegian Cancer Society, and Oslo Cancer Cluster, Hans Clevers, Bill Matsui, and Pier Giuseppe Pellicci, respectively. The list and links to their home pages are found at The meeting will be at Holmenkollen Park Hotel, but there will also be a get-together at the new Institute for cancer research building.

Norsk Hydros Fund, which belongs to the Institute for cancer research, has initiated this biannual symposium series, and depends on scientists at the institute to suggest topics and arrange meetings. This years meeting is arranged by the Cancer Stem Cell Innovation Centre (CAST). The significance is underlined by the meeting being opened by the Minister of health, and there will be given a reception by the Mayor.

We have now put an effort into making the series known, with this stable web site, and building a "brand name".