TUMOR HYPOXIA AND MALIGNANT PROGRESSION MEETING REPORT
Over the last years, researchers have been seen to be taking an increasing interest in the problems of the tumor cell microenvironment, especially tumor hypoxia, which is one of the most prominent features of malignant neoplasias, distinguishing them from normal tissues. According to experimental and clinical studies, tumor hy poxia positively affects tumor progression, stimulating its aggressiveness, metastasis and resistance to therapy. The molecular background of the specific mic
... t of tumor cells and its interaction with stromal cells in mediating the behavior of tumors and the tumorhost interrelationship were the subject of the International Conference entitled "Tumor Hypoxia and Malignant Progression", a meeting held at the House of Scientists of the NAS of Ukraine in Kyiv, Ukraine, October 1 st to 4 th , 2008. The meeting was hosted by the R.E. Kavetsky Institute of Experimental Patho logy, Oncology and Radiobiology of the NAS of Ukraine (ІEPOR) and was dedicated to the 90 th Anniversary of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss new results arising from research in different areas of tu mor hypoxia and the microenvironment of tumor cells, in particular the molecular mechanisms of hypoxia associated signaling pathways in primary tumors as key factors of tumor progression and strategies for the clinical application of hypoxia markers and the development of hypoxiatargeted anticancer agents. The conference was opened by an official invitation from the Academy Secretary of the Branch of Bio chemistry, Physiology and Molecular Biology of the NAS of Ukraine, academy member Sergej V. Komis sarenko, who has characterized the problem of tumor hypoxia, focusing attention on its biochemical aspects which were first studied in the fundamental investiga tions of O. Warburg. The importance of the meeting which allowed scientists from different countries to discuss new results and plan further strategies for their research was emphasized. Cochairman of the International Scientific Committee Prof. P. Vaupel (Ger many) and member of ESHO Board Prof. M. Horsman (Denmark), welcomed participants to the conference. On behalf of all invited lecturers, Prof. J. Pouyssegur (France) welcomed participants and guests to the meeting. All speakers emphasized the importance of the problem of the tumor cell microenvironmentin particular hypoxia -in the elucidation of the mecha nisms of cancer aggressiveness and the elaboration of new approaches in cancer treatment. It was pointed out that such meetings help to stimulate cooperation between scientists who are engaged in different areas of hypoxia research as well as promoting discussions on further strategies worthy of investigation. T u m o r m i c r o e n v i r o n m e n t a n d t u m o r microphysiolo gy. In a foreword, the cochairman of the conference Sergej Osinsky (IEPOR, Ukraine) welcomed participants of the meeting and concentrated their attention on the relevance of understanding the role of the tumor microenvironment in cancer progres sion for the development of novel therapeutic strate gies. He also proposed the consideration of two types of microenvironment for tumor cells: the metabolic microenvironment mediated by factors of tumor micro physiology (blood flow, vascular permeability, oxygena The current problems of malignant growth biology, in particular the molecular background of the specific microenvironment of tumor cells and their interaction with stromal cells, which mediates the behavior of tumors and the tumor-host interrelationship were the subject of the International Conference entitled "Tumor Hypoxia and Malignant Progression", a meeting held at the House of Scientists of the NAS of Ukraine in Kyiv, Ukraine, October 1 st to 4 th , 2008. The meeting was hosted by the R.E. Kavetsky Institute of Experimental Pathology, Oncology and Radiobiology of the NAS of Ukraine (ІEPOR), and was dedicated to the 90 th Anniversary of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine. Over the last years, scientists have focused extensively on the problem of tumor hypoxia as a factor promoting tumor progression. It is known that hypoxia, as a constituent of the tumor cell microenvironment as well as aerobic glycolysis, are important features of malignant tumors. The direct correlation between high levels of hypoxia and tumor aggressiveness has been shown in numerous studies. Therefore, hypoxia is regarded as a factor of unfavorable prognosis. There is a number of different methods available for the evaluation of the level of hypoxia, some of which are being applied in the clinical setting. The stimulating impact of hypoxia and hypoxia-associated proteins on neoangiogenesis and vasculogenesis in tumor tissue has been demonstrated. Several studies have focused on the development of agents capable of blocking hypoxia-associated signaling pathways and vasculogenesis in tumor. Recently, the direct association between hypoxia-dependent signaling pathways and expression of factors that mediate inflammation in tumor tissue, in particular tumor-associated macrophages has been shown. To summarize, a better understanding of the relationships between hypoxia-associated signaling pathways, metabolic peculiarities and inflammatory factors that positively influence tumor progression may elucidate not only how the aggressive tumor phenotype is formed but also may assist in the development of new approaches for the treatment of cancer patients.