Experts say vast degree of structural disease change, high speed of cancer evolution rarely considered until now
BOSTON, Sept. 23, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Evolutionary processes have made cancer supremely difficult to treat and cure - but evolutionary thinking could hold fundamental keys to stopping cancer in its tracks.
That premise, rapidly gaining momentum with outside-the-box cancer trailblazers, is the thrust behind a global "Cancer & Evolution Symposium," held virtually October 14, 15 and 16.
More than 30 leading scientific researchers, oncologists, and biopharma experts will present from 8:30 am to 2 pm ET daily.
"We are not winning the war on advanced-stage cancers, when therapy resistance and spread often emerge suddenly," said Frank H. Laukien, lead organizer of the conference. "The fact that tumors constantly, rapidly transform their genetic makeup is one reason late-stage cancers cures are difficult. This has spurred thoughtful leaders to take an evolutionary approach to tackling cancer."
"We have yet to adequately capture the evolutionary capacity of cancer cells," said Professor Henry Heng, Wayne State University. "Advanced stages of disease can be different from initial stages. This massive genome chaos produces treatment-resistant and more "fit" species of cells in just weeks. We need adaptive therapies to combat this evolution process."
This Symposium combining evolution and cancer is expected to mark an inflection point for physicians and patients, addressing difficult but important issues:
-- Does the standard "maximum tolerable dose" of one single therapy,
despite initial benefits, cause disease to make a rapid evolutionary
transition that inevitably does more long-term harm to patients, as
-- Does the present treatment paradigm of not following up with secondary
or tertiary therapies until after tumors reemerge demand
-- What are the critical biomarkers for screening to identify tumors before
they have evolved beyond treatable stages?
-- Does deeper understanding of these major evolutionary transitions in
cancer offer new molecular targets for treatment?
Registration details and the agenda can be found at www.cancerevolution.org [https://c212.net/c/link/?t=0&l=en&o=2926696-1&h=3824118438&u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.cancerevolution.org%2F&a=www.cancerevolution.org]. Press may contact email@example.com [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org] for access.
"Beating cancer means understanding how it evolves, especially in response to treatments," said University of Chicago's James Shapiro. "If you hammer someone's advancing cancer, you may eliminate 99% of cells but the stressed 1% that survive shift into rapid evolution mode and produce a tumor population resistant to your therapy. Knowing how this tumor evolution happens is key to preventing it."
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Web site: evo2.org/ http://www.cancerevolution.org/