Growth Factors

The Ninth Annual William Guy Forbeck Research Foundation Forum was held on October 28-30, 1993 at Hilton Head.  This year's topic was "Growth Factors."  The central theme of the meeting was the mechanisms by which growth factors regulate cells through signal transduction pathways.

During the past two decades, it has been learned that cells (including most cancer cells) cannot grow in a purely autonomous fashion.  Instead, their capacity to grow and multiply is regulated by growth factors.  There are small polypeptide molecules which bind to highly specific receptors on the cell surface, the way a key fits into a lock.  In the presence of appropriate growth factors, cells activate the biochemical pathways which enable them to replicate DNA and undergo mitotic cell division.