Dear Friends and Colleagues,
We are very pleased to welcome you to the Meeting of the ABCD Group “Cell Stress: Survival and Apoptosis” (CSSA), that will be held at the waterfront resort Città del Mare, located nearby Palermo, 18-19 May 2012.
Traditionally, since its foundation by Arturo Leone in 1990, the “Cell Stress” ABCD Group welcomed researchers interested in the molecular mechanisms of the cellular response to damage, eventually leading to cell survival or death. The group meeting is an important moment for discussion and sharing of the latest results concerning cell stress, apoptosis, survival, oxidative stress, autophagy, etc, under both physiological and pathological conditions.
This year the Meeting conforms to the scheme of ABCD interest groups introduced in 2010. We will give voice to the greatest possible number of contributions, encouraging presentations given by Ph.D. students and post-docs. On top of the regular sessions with oral presentations, the 2012 features a Poster Session running throughout the entire meeting, with prizes for best posters.
In addition, we have the pleasure to announce two eminent guest speakers: Dr Juan Iovanna, MD, Ph.D., Deputy Director of the "Centre de Recherche en Cancérologie de Marseille (CRCM)", INSERM UMR 1068, CNRS UMR 7528, Aix Marseille Université and Institut Paoli Calmette, Marseille, France, who will give a keynote talk titled: "The role of the stress protein Nupr1 in pancreatic cancer development", and Prof. Gabriele Multhoff, Department of Radiation Oncology, Klinikum rechts der Isar, Technische Universität München, and Clinical Cooperation Group "Innate Immunity in Tumor Biology", Munich, Germany, who will give a keynote talk titled: "Membrane-bound and extracellular Hsp70 as a tumor-specific target for immunotherapies".
Dr Juan Iovanna's lab is involved in molecular studies on the relations between cellular stress and pancreatic cancer, and actively pursues their transfer to the clinic. The laboratory had focused, during several years, on a relatively small number of mechanisms involved in pancreatic stress response, and demonstrated that these mechanisms are not specific to the pancreas but can be extrapolated to other cancers. Some of the stress molecules involved in these mechanisms (p8/Nupr1, PAP, VMP1 and TP53INP1) could be excellent therapeutic targets since they are involved in cell growth, apoptosis, autophagy, epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition, migration and invasion.
Prof. Gabriele Multhoff's lab is predominantly working on solid tumors, following three main approaches: an Hsp70-based NK cell therapy (presently in a phase II clinical trial in NSCLC patients), a molecular therapy that takes advantage of the fact that membrane Hsp70 acts as an entry port for granzyme B and thus granzyme B, in the absence of perforin, thus inducing apopotosis in a tumor-specific manner, and last but not least on Hsp70 antibody based therapies such as ADCC and liposomal drug delivery. Gabriele Multhoff is member of the Editorial board of the Journal Cell Stress and Chaperones (A Comprehensive Journal of Stress Biology and Medicine). The Journal publishes basic and applied research on cellular stress responses of animals, micro-organisms and plants.
We hope such a stimulating programme will persuade a large number of scientists to join us in Sicily.