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PS-ON Events

Physical Sciences-Based Frontiers in Oncology: A New Look at Evolution and Evolutionary Theory in Cancer

Physical Sciences-Based Frontiers in Oncology: A New Look at Evolution and Evolutionary Theory in Cancer

Meeting Objectives

The NCI's goal in these think tanks was to explore research opportunities at the intersection of the physical sciences and cancer biology that will enable a deeper understanding of cancer and inform the development of better approaches to detect, treat and prevent this complex disease.

  • From the perspective of both the physical and biological sciences - to determine the "state of the science" of evolution and evolutionary theory in terms of our current understanding of cancer at all scales.
  • To explore the relationships between current areas of intense focus in cancer research, e.g., genomics, proteomics, molecularly based drug discovery and development, etc., in terms of the role of evolution and evolutionary theory in oncology at all scales.
  • To identify critical questions in cancer evolution that if addressed will enhance our understanding of cancer development and outcomes.
  • For this think tank, to offer guidance on how through leadership, utilization of existing and new research support mechanisms, etc. the NCI can best engage broader communities of physical and biomedical scientist to address key questions in cancer evolution and evolutionary theory applied to cancer.

Agenda

Physical Sciences-Based Frontiers in Oncology: A New Look at Evolution and Evolutionary Theory in Cancer

July 13 - 15, 2008
Sunday, July 13, 2008
6:00 p.m. - 7:15 p.m. Reception and Buffet Dinner  
7:30 p.m. - 7:50 p.m.

Background for the Meeting, Welcome, and Introduction of Keynote Presentation
Anna D. Barker, PhD, NCI
John E. Niederhuber, MD, NCI

7:50 p.m. - 8:50 p.m.

Keynote Presentation
Keynote Presentation: The Causes and Prevention of Cancer - Can an Evolutionary Perspective Allow Us to See the Forest and the Trees?
Paul W. Ewald, PhD, University of Louisville

8:50 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. Think Tank Process Introductions
Anna D. Barker, PhD, NCI
9:00 p.m. - 9:15 p.m. Expectations Facilitator: Robert J. Mittman, MS, MPP, Facilitation, Foresight, Strategy
Monday, July 14, 2008
7:00 a.m. - 8:00 a.m. Continental Breakfast
8:00 a.m. - 8:30 a.m. Welcome, Background for Today’s Think Tank, as well as Process and Flow for the Think Tank
John E. Niederhuber, MD, NCI
Anna D. Barker, PhD, NCI
Robert J. Mittman, MS, MPP, Facilitation, Foresight, Strategy
8:30 a.m. - 10:00 a.m. Group Discussion: Evolution and Evolutionary Theory in Cancer - Status of the Field
Facilitator: Robert J. Mittman, MS, MPP, Facilitation, Foresight, Strategy
10:00 a.m. - 10:15 a.m. Break
10:15 a.m. - 10:45 a.m. Keynote Presentation: Evolution and Cancer - Through the Eyes of a Physicist
Robert H. Austin, PhD, Princeton University
10:45 a.m. - 11:15 a.m. Keynote Presentation: Evolution and Cancer - A Biologist View of the State of the Science
Carlo C. Maley, PhD, The Wistar Institute
11:15 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. Group Discussion: Evolution and Evolutionary Theory - What are the Critical Questions and/or Barriers?
Facilitator: Robert J. Mittman, MS, MPP, Facilitation, Foresight, Strategy
12:30 p.m. - 1:35 p.m. Lunch
1:30 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. Roundtable Discussion: Exploration of these and Other Critical Questions/Barriers Surrounding Evolution, Evolutionary Theory and Cancer
Paul Davies, PhD, Beyond Institute
Donald S. Coffey, PhD, Johns Hopkins University
Raju Kucherlapati, PhD, Harvard Partners Center for Genetics & Genomics
Brian J. Reid, MD, PhD, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
3:00 p.m. - 3:15 p.m. Break
3:15 p.m. - 5:15 p.m. Group Discussion: Evolution and Evolutionary Theory in Cancer - Addressing the Critical Questions (An Integrated Group Conversation)
Facilitator: Robert J. Mittman, MS, MPP, Facilitation, Foresight, Strategy
5:15 p.m. - 5:45 p.m. Quick Hit (Headlines) Report from the Groups
Facilitator: Robert J. Mittman, MS, MPP, Facilitation, Foresight, Strategy
6:30 – 8:30 pm Reception and Dinner
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
7:00 a.m. - 8:00 a.m. Continental Breakfast
8:00 a.m. - 8:15 a.m. Review of Day 1 Facilitator: Robert J. Mittman, MS, MPP, Facilitation, Foresight, Strategy
8:15 a.m. - 8:45 a.m.

Keynote Presentation: Breast Cancer - Would Evolutionary Thinking Change Our Understanding and Management of this Complex Disease?
Larry Norton, MD, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center

8:45 a.m. - 10:15 a.m. Panel: Research and Commentary - Cancer in the Context of Evolution (Cancer as Viewed by Evolutionists; Development of Interventions - What Could Change? Modeling in the Context of Evolution)
Cell Lineages - Mutations - and "Predisposition" to Cancer
Steven A. Frank, PhD, University of California Irvine

Dynamics of Multilevel Selection and Cancer
John W. Pepper, PhD, University of Arizona

Applying Evolutionary Principles and Theory to the Development of Interventions for Cancer
Kenneth J. Pienta, MD, University of Michigan

Evolution and New Models for Cancer Development and Progression: What Will It Take to Inform the Models?
Thomas S. Deisboeck, MD, Harvard – MIT
10:15 a.m. - 10:30 a.m. Break
10:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m. Converging on the Key Areas of Focus, Group Discussions - Concept Development Groups Input and Recommendations, and Working Lunch
1:30 p.m. - 2:45 p.m. Report Outs: Group Consensus Input - Report Format and Direction and Timing
2:45 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. Summary and Next Steps
John E. Niederhuber, MD, NCI
Anna D. Barker, PhD, NCI

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