Cancer and tumor-induced angiogenesis has a natural place in the Special Year on Developmental Biology as cancer is often thought of as a result of a faulty development process. Experimental and clinical oncology forms a massive literature aimed at understanding and treating cancer. Despite the enormity of the data available, clinical oncologists and tumor biologists proceed without a comprehensive theoretical model to help guide the organization and understanding of such data. To quote a recent Nature article on the topic:
Heeding lessons from the physical sciences, one might expect to find oncology aggressively, almost desperately, pursuing quantitative methods to consolidate its vast body of data and integrate the rapidly accumulating new information. In fact, quite the contrary situation exists. Mathematical models are typically denounced as "too simplistic" for complex tumour-related phenomena (ignoring, of course, the fact that similar simplifying assumptions are required in most experimental designs). Articles in cancer journals rarely feature equations. Clinical oncologists and those who are interested in the mathematical modelling of cancer seldom share the same conference platforms. -- Nature 421, 321 (2003).
Naturally, successful modeling approaches to cancer requires scientists willing to communicate and interact extensively across disciplinary boundaries. This workshop aims to do exactly this by having truly interdisciplinary scientists as well as giving a shared platform for both experienced modellers and state-of-the art experimentalists and clinician-scientists discussing their work covering every level of tumor growth.
Each day of the workshop, will consist of 3 primary speakers (1-hour lectures each) that will include an experimentalist laying out the biological problem, a mathematical modeler describing modeling approaches and a imaging specialist describing the type of data (typically imaging) available for model validation and development. Additionally, other attendees will be invited to present posters at the poster session. An expert panel will comprise of leading modelers and experimentalists to discuss current problems in the efficient translation of mathematical modeling techniques to the laboratory and the clinic.
Significant time will be available during the meeting for discussions of current and future problems in the cancer and tumor-induced angiogenesis area.