Beatson International Cancer Conference
TALK TO THE NICHE – Understanding the Biology of the Metastatic Niche
Sunday 1st July – Wednesday 4th July 2018
The Beatson International Cancer Conference series is designed to be a relaxed and friendly meeting where delegates and invited speakers have a chance to interact on both a scientific and social basis. One of the main challenges faced by clinicians engaged in treating solid tumours is that, at the time of diagnosis, malignant cells have already left the primary tumour and are either present in the circulation or have taken up residence in other organs. Thus, following complete excision of the primary tumour, these disseminated cells lie dormant, only to later appear as frank metastases. Certain organs are particularly prone to metastasis, indicating that disseminated tumour cells have sites, or niches, which they prefer to colonise. The lung and the liver, for example, are extremely active metastatic target organs, and it is clear that the microenvironment of these two organs contains niches which are particularly good at capturing disseminated cells and supporting their growth and proliferation to form metastases. Moreover, primary tumours release factors that contribute to the ‘priming’ of metastatic niches in the lung and liver. Thus it is clear that we need new ways to identify primed metastatic niches, and to develop strategies for targeting these therapeutically following resection of primary tumours. This meeting will directly address the nature of the metastatic niche. We will discuss the components of the extracellular matrix that contribute to niche priming, how the immune system can foster metastasis and how these elements may be targeted therapeutically.
For more information on the Beatson International Cancer Conference, please click here.