The subject of this 10th edition of the Radboud New Frontiers Symposium was cancer research.
In the last decade, there has been an enormous progress in the field of cancer. New treatment paradigms have become available for tumor types that were hardly treatable before. In all of the facets of the diagnostics the personalized approaches are being adopted. New care concepts improve the quality of life of cancer patients. Such new developments that originated from the basic sciences, clinical practice and health sciences were the subject of these two days.
In front of an audience of more than 250 scientists, Professor Paul Smits, Dean / vice-Chairman Radboudumc, opened the symposium. The speaker of the opening session Professor Gerrit Meijer (NKI) discussed the paradigm of personalized or precision medicine and the developments towards the productive translational cancer research.
In the first session on cancer prevention a number of different topic were discussed; starting from primary prevention in Tobacco control by Marc Willemsen (Maastricht UMC), followed by the latest developments in lung screening CT by Mathias Prokop (Radboudumc). The session was closed by an inspiring lecture of Per Hall (Karolinska Institute, Stockholm) on how to identify and treat women with high risk breast cancer.
The second session focused on the future of cancer imaging, the essential and versatile technology that is pervasive in cancer diagnosis, treatment and research. The four speakers presented diverse imaging approaches. Professor Peter Friedl (Radboudumc) showed impressive developments in intravital microscopy of cancer invasion, metastasis and therapy. The state of the art of nuclear medicine was presented by Professor Wim Oyen (ICR, London). Professor Uulke van der Heide (NKI) discussed the future of use of image guided therapy to tailor the treatment in heterogenic tumors. The last speaker of the session Dr Go van Dam (UMC Groningen) focused on local tumor treatments using fluorescent guided surgery.
The last session of the first day dedicated to the exiting area of cancer immunology was opened by an excellent talk of Professor Jolanda de Vries (Radboudumc) on dendritic cell based vaccination, on the long way from biology to daily practise. Professor Rengaswamy Sankaranarayaran presented the different approaches of HPV vaccination in low income countries. The session was closed by dr. Ignacio Melero (University of Navarra, Pamplona) on exploration of new targets such as CD 137 in cancer immunotherapy approaches.
During the second day of the symposium, the fourth session focused on consequences for daily practice. Professor Kathy Pritchard-Jones (UHCL, London) showed the new organization systems to deliver outcome-based cancer care. In the next presentation professor Koos van der Hoeven (Radboudumc) discussed the price of the healthcare. The third lecture on late effects and cancer survivorship was presented by Professor Christopher Johansen (University of Copenhagen). The session was closed by the interesting lecture of Professor Nicole Blijlevens about the platform where patients are in lead using e-health; CMyLife, on cancer immunology, on ‘treating the mutation, the cancer or the patient’, on prevention and patient participation and on durability of the healthcare system. Each session of the program was of interest to both molecular life scientists and health scientists as well as to clinicians with a focus on patient care instead of research.
After the lunch and poster session Professor Paul Workman (ICR, London) talked on de latest development in the genetic field and in drug discovery. The next speaker, professor Donald Berry (MD Anderson, Houston) discussed biomarkers and innovation in clinical trial design, as well as the future of clinical trials.
The keynote lecture about the genetic susceptibility to ovarian cancer, and its clinical significance was given by Professor Paul Pharoah. He is also the first awardee of the John Graunt Award for outstanding scientific achievement in epidemiology.
Best poster awards
There have been two poster sessions during the 2 days of the Symposium. An excellent jury awarded three best poster prizes. They received a certificate, the recently published book The Gene: An Intimate History by Siddhartha Mukherjee and a dinner voucher. The winner of the best poster was Ilja Diets. The second best poster was presented by Sabrina Boer; third place was for Anke van Erp.