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Part 2: Targeting Cancer Pathways: The Tumor Microenvironment

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Part 2: Targeting Cancer Pathways: The Tumor Microenvironment

Recorded 11 February 2015

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Brought to you by Science and Science Signaling.

This webinar is the second in a series (see Part 1 here) focusing on the cancer pathways that support tumor development, the emerging research in identifying and targeting these pathways, and innovations in the development of increasingly effective cancer therapy options. Recent advances in our understanding of cancer have revealed that the disease cannot be understood through simple analysis of genetic mutations within cancerous cells. Instead, tumors should be considered complex tissues in which the cancer cells communicate with the surrounding cellular microenvironment and evolve traits that promote their own survival. Here, we will explore how the tumor microenvironment promotes oncogenic progression, while protecting the tumor from therapeutic intervention. By better understanding the tumor microenvironment we can develop strategies and treatment options to neutralize its oncogenic influence and more effectively attack the tumor itself.

During the webinar, the expert speakers will:

  • Discuss the importance of understanding the tumor microenvironment and how it interacts with normal cells
  • Highlight what can be learned from the tumor microenvironment that might allow better, more effective therapeutics to be developed
  • Explain how the abnormal microenvironment impacts anti-cancer drugs and how manipulating it with antiangiogenics can improve therapeutic outcomes.

This webinar will last for approximately 60 minutes.

You can also view Part 1Part 3Part 4, and Part 5 of this series.

For more information, go to: http://www.cellsignal.com/koch

Speaker bios

Rakesh K. Jain, Ph.D.

Harvard Medical School/MGH
Boston, MA

Dr. Jain received his bachelor’s degree in 1972 from IIT, Kanpur, India, and his Ph.D. degree in chemical engineering in 1976 from the University of Delaware. After serving as assistant professor of chemical engineering at Columbia University he moved to Carnegie Mellon University in 1978, becoming a full professor of chemical engineering in 1983. As of 1991, Dr. Jain is the Andrew Werk Cook Professor of Tumor Biology (Radiation Oncology) at Harvard Medical School, and director of the Edwin L. Steele Laboratory of Tumor Biology at Massachusetts General Hospital. He is regarded as a pioneer in the field of tumor microenvironment and is well known for proposing a new treatment principle—normalization of microenvironment—for treatment of malignant and nonmalignant diseases characterized by abnormal vessels that afflict more than 500 million people worldwide. Dr. Jain's findings are summarized in more than 600 publications and he has edited seven monographs on topics ranging from engineering to cancer. He serves or has served on advisory panels to government, industry, and academia, and as a member of editorial advisory boards of 22 journals. He is the recipient of numerous awards, most recently the Princess Takamatsu Memorial Lectureship Award from the American Association of Cancer Research (2014). Dr. Jain has the rare distinction of being a member of all three of the U.S. National Academies: the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. In 2014, he was chosen as one of 50 Oncology Luminaries on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the American Society of Clinical Oncology. 

Padmanee Sharma, M.D. Ph.D.

MD Anderson Cancer Center
Houston, TX

Dr. Sharma is a trained medical oncologist and immunologist whose research work is focused on investigating mechanisms and pathways within the immune system that are responsible for tumor rejection and clinical benefit. She matriculated with both her M.D. and Ph.D. degrees in 1998. She then completed an internal medicine residency at New York Hospital Cornell University as well as a medical oncology fellowship at Memorial-Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. Dr. Sharma joined MD Anderson in 2004 and was awarded the MD Anderson Physician Scientist Award in 2005 and the ASCO Career Development Award in 2006. She designed and conducted the first presurgical clinical trial with anti-CTLA-4 in bladder cancer patients, which allowed her to study matched tumor and blood samples to identify relevant immune responses associated with anti-CTLA-4 therapy. Her research studies allowed her to compete successfully for the Doris Duke Clinical Scientist Development Award in 2008 and the American Cancer Society Mentored Research Scholar Grant in 2009. In 2012 she became the scientific director of the Immunotherapy Platform for The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. Currently Dr. Sharma is a professor in the Departments of Genitourinary Medical Oncology and Immunology. She has independent funding consisting of a DOD Idea Development Award, a CPRIT Individual Investigator Award, a NIH/NCI R01 grant, and an AACR-CRI-SU2C Immunology grant. Dr. Sharma is the principal investigator of multiple immunotherapy trials and performs extensive laboratory studies on patients' samples to gain insights regarding mechanisms and pathways involved in antitumor responses.

Annalisa VanHook, Ph.D.

Science Signaling/AAAS
Washington, DC

Dr. VanHook studied biology as an undergraduate at Kenyon College and received her Ph.D. from the Department of Human Genetics at the University of Utah.  She completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of California, Berkeley, supported by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, in the field of evolutionary developmental biology. Dr. VanHook joined the staff of Science Signaling/AAAS in 2008, where she is currently web editor of Science Signaling.

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