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Europe’s membership association for cancer researchers

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Seed and Soil: In Vivo Models of Metastasis (Berlin, 27-29 November 2017)

Joint conference between the European Association for Cancer Research (EACR) and the Metastasis Research Society (MRS)

Metastasis is responsible for over 90% of cancer patient deaths, largely because therapies are generally ineffective against detectable metastatic tumours. The critical need to understand the metastatic process and develop therapeutic strategies formed the background for the EACR organising our first joint conference with the Metastasis Research Society (MRS). The Metastasis Research Society is a 31 year-old, non-profit, international society dedicated to solving the problem of cancer metastasis.

At the meeting we introduced an exciting new idea, ‘The Big Debate’ on a key question:

“Our current animal models for studying metastasis produce experimental data that have little relevance for treating human disease”

Participants voted for or against the statement before the debate, with the results showing a roughly equally split opinion in the audience. Invited speaker Hellmut Augustin (German Cancer Research Center Heidelberg, Germany) spoke to support the statement, and invited speaker Yibin Kang (Princeton University, USA) spoke to oppose it, followed by questions from the audience. At the end of the debate, everyone voted again and the viewpoint of the participants who were previously unsure had mostly changed towards agreeing with the statement.

When we organise international scientific meetings we are used to welcoming participants from many different countries. This meeting surpassed our usual expectations with 179 participants from a total of 37 countries!

Feedback from participants:

Preliminary feedback has been great, with 100% satisfaction rating for the scientific quality, 97% satisfaction for the networking opportunities, and 100% of participants saying they would recommend it to others.

 “It was extremely well organised, there was a good range of talks, nice long poster sessions, and a fabulous range of participants from all over the world.”

“The quality of the lectures was excellent, the speakers remained until the end of the meeting and were very open to speak with the participants. I found it intriguing the idea of the debate, a brilliant way to highlight the topic of the conference.”

“The conference was excellent in every respect. There was an outstanding scientific programme, with numerous opportunities to network with experts in the field. Poster sessions were vibrant, well organised and of high quality. The conference location, catering and accommodation were all really good, and the administration and organisation was highly professional.”

Congratulations to the winners of the EACR poster prizes:

Rene Jackstadt (UK) “Development and characterisation of new transgenic mouse models of colorectal cancer consensus molecular subtypes and metastasis”

Kerrie L. Marie (USA) “Melanoma cells co-opt hardwired embryonic pathways to facilitate Metastasis”

04 Dec 2017

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