Forbeck Focus Meeting 2016 - Renal Medullary Carcinoma

Similar to the original meeting organized by the Forbeck Foundation just over 30 years ago, this year's Forbeck Focus Meeting tackled a rare cancer disorder, Renal Medullary Carcinoma (RMC). This cancer disproportionately affects teens and young adults who are also carriers of the sickle hemoglobin gene, or other hemoglobinopathies. The cancer originates in the kidney, and is rapidly progressive, and almost universally fatal. Because of the rarity of this cancer, even the overall incidence is not known, and little community discussion exists around its underlying biology, etiology, or standards for treatment.

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Forbeck Focus Meeting 2014 - Extracellular Vesicles: Promises and Pitfalls

In the most recent Forbeck retreat, the topic of exosomes surfaced in presentation by scholars of different generation. To me, this was impressive since scholars are selected based on a wide spectrum of interests. It was the reason behind the surprising finding that certain nuclear proteins are found on the cell surface. It was also the reason why certain mRNA and miRNA can be isolated from patient derived bio-fluids, such as serum, urine, and cerebrospinal fluid.

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Forbeck Focus Meeting 2012 - Passing the Blood Brain Barriers to Improve Drug Delivery to Tumor in the Central Nervous System

As a pediatric neuro-oncologist who treats children with brainstem gliomas, I am amazed that there is not a single drug approved to treat brainstem gliomas despite numerous clinical trials. This observation suggests that drug delivery may be a major obstacle to progress against this rare pediatric tumor (an observation that I also noted in work with mouse models of brainstem gliomas) There is insufficient attention and research on how to circumvent the blood-brain-barrier (BBB) when in comes to the treatment of tumors in the central nervous system.

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Forbeck Focus Meeting 2011 - International Meeting on Childhood Germ Cell Tumors: Origins, Models and New Treatment Paradigms

Germ cell tumors (GCTs) are malignant neoplasms of the germline that occur in infants, children and adults. The tumors may arise in the ovary, the testis, or extragonadal sites, and take on a wide variety of histopathologic differentiation states. The genetic aberrations that underlie the development of GCTs are not well understood. In addition, there is compelling evidence that distinct molecular mechanisms lead to the development of germ cell tumors in children and adults. This lack of biologic understanding means that few advances in cancer therapeutics are on the horizon for GCTs. 

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Forbeck Focus Meeting 2004 - Fertility and Reproductive Issues in Survivors of Childhood Cancer

Advances in the treatment of childhood cancer, including combination chemotherapy, radiation therapy, surgery, and stem cell transplantation have resulted in markedly improved survival rates for many patient-groups. Currently, the overall five- year survival rate is in excess of 70%. However, with these advancements, cancer survivors now face the long-term consequences of treatment with intensive, multimodality therapies.

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Forbeck Focus Meeting 2003 - The New Biology of Enigmatic Neuroblastoma and Relevant Treatment Strategies

Neuroblastoma remains the most frequent solid abdominal and thoracic malignancy of childhood, a tumor characterized by an aggressive behavior and a dismal outcome. Therapeutic strategies have historically emphasized aggressive multimodal therapy, and the marginal improved prognosis seen in the last several years has depended on the acceleration and further intensification of such treatment.

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Forbeck Focus Meeting 2002 - A New Tool in Cancer Medicine: Exploiting the Patient’s Immunological Memory

We wish to introduce a new field of cancer immunology to an interdisciplinary group of outstanding experts, both basic scientists and clinicians. The meeting will focus on the interdisciplinary exchange of expertise to accelerate scientific progress and to draw up future clinical applications. In the past, a number of tumor-associated antigens (TAAs) have been characterized to be capable of initiating autologous and allogeneic T-lymphocyte responses against the respective tumors.

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Forbeck Focus Meeting 2001 - Mechanisms, Consequences, and Therapeutic Implications of Blood Vessel Leakiness in Cancer

This meeting will be the first of its kind focused on the pathophysiological and therapeutic implications of blood vessel leakiness in cancer. The fact that tumor vessels are leakier than normal vessels has been well documented in human cancer and in experimental tumor models. Vessel leakiness has been attributed to the dynamic aspects of tumor vessels and the rapid proliferation of endothelial cells, combined with the abnormal extracellular matrix of tumors. However, the cellular mechanism of the leakiness to rate of cancer growth, predisposition to metastasis, and delivery of macromolecular therapeutic agents to tumor cells have only begun to be examined using contemporary methodologies.

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Forbeck Focus Meeting 2001 - Follow Up to 2000 Forbeck Forum on Transplantation

While laboratory advances have increased fundamental knowledge of transplantation and tumor biology and suggested strategies for improving transplant results, implementing and completing clinical trials that definitively test the efficacy of new transplant approaches has proven difficult. Regulatory and funding agencies, pharmaceutical companies and transplant physicians often have divergent perspectives and objectives that hinder achieving consensus on optimal approaches. 

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Forbeck Focus Meeting 2000 - Proteases as Cancer Therapeutic Targets

Held between January 23rd – 26th on Captiva Island, FL, the purpose of the meeting was to bring together basic scientists, clinical trialists, and pharmaceutical industry representatives to discuss the current state of understanding of the role proteases play in cancer and determine ways to accelerate and optimize the clinical application of protease inhibitors.

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Forbeck Focus Meeting 1999 - Tumor Invasion and Metastases

Understanding how malignant tumor cells are able to spread from the primary tumor to form secondary tumors at other sites in the body is one of the major goals of cancer research. To metastasize successfully, cancer cells have to detach from their original location, invade a blood or lymphatic vessel, travel in the circulation to a distant site, and establish a new cellular colony.

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