Aneuploidy in Cancer Development, Prognosis and Treatment

Forum Chairs

Uri
Ben-David
,
PhD
Broad Institute
Elsa
Logarinho
,
PhD
Instituto de Biologia Molecular e Celular - Universidade do Porto
Stefano
Santaguida
,
PhD
Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Forum Description

We propose a meeting, entitled “Aneuploidy in cancer development, prognosis and treatment”, that will bring together researchers from the cancer aneuploidy community. In particular, we envision a platform of creative thinking and scientific cooperation, gathering scientists with expertise and interests in studying how chromosome imbalances arise during tumorigenesis and how they can be targeted for cancer therapy.

During the meeting, participants will have the opportunity to discuss one of the most complex questions in cancer biology, namely whether and how aneuploidy contributes to tumorigenesis, and how this hallmark of cancer can be targeted therapeutically. This question is extremely timely and is currently addressed by several labs that are exploiting the powerful advances in genetics, cell biology and cancer biology to deconstruct the genetic makeup of cancer cells.

Focused discussions, prompted by talks from both junior and senior researchers, will invigorate research on these important problems. The well-established format of the Forbeck meetings will guarantee interactions among scientists using complementary approaches that will fuel collaborative and innovative thinking. Finally, this will also encourage the sharing of valuable resources and reagents across labs. We strongly believe that this meeting will empower researchers with new ideas and scientific allies long after the meeting has adjourned.

Notably, this meeting will follow the 2016 Annual Forbeck Forum on Chromosomal Instability and Aneuploidy. However, on top of the exciting developments that the field has seen in the past few years, the focus of the proposed meeting will be different from that of the 2016 meeting, and will emphasize the role of aneuploidy in tumor development, prognosis and treatment.

Forum Summary

The Foundation hosted an in-person meeting at beautiful Lake Maggiore, in the lake area of the Northern Italy, in which attendees discussed several aspects related to the role of aneuploidy in cancer. It was the first Forbeck Forum hosted in a location outside the US and the first in-person meeting for many attendees after the long pause forced by the pandemic. The meeting was chaired by Uri Ben-David, PhD (Tel Aviv University), Elsa Logarinho, PhD (University of Porto), and Stefano Santaguida, PhD (University of Milan and European Institute of Oncology). The meeting attendance included four new Forbeck Scholars: Elsa Bernard, PhD, Pippa Cosper, MD, PhD, Elena Kuzmin, PhD, Thomas Watkins, PhD.

The Forum was divided into 4 sections, structured to (1) discuss the prognostic and predictive values of chromosomal instability and aneuploidy; (2) deconstruct the interaction between aneuploidy and the immune system in tumorigenesis; (3) evaluate aneuploidy as a novel target for cancer therapy; (4) explore the role of aneuploidy in aging and cancer disease models.

Throughout the meeting there were several excellent talks focusing on the detailed deconvolution of genome complexity gained through high-throughput DNA sequencing. A particular emphasis was on the role of aneuploidy, and the ensuing genome instability, in promoting chemoresistance and fueling tumorigenesis. Forum attendees discussed how the presence of extra chromosomes can shape the karyotypic landscape of tumors, conferring unique possibilities to cancer cells to thrive and proliferate under selective pressure. Along this line, the contribution of extra-chromosomal DNA (ecDNA) was extensively discussed in the context of chemotherapy resistance, an aspect intimately linked to the process of chromothripsis. In this respect, the discussion also focused on the role of micronuclei as key players in the process of chromothripsis, instigator of the metastatic process and mediators of the inflammatory state of cancer cells.  

Forum attendees acknowledged the difficulties associated with the study of the contribution of aneuploidy in cancer, in part due to the lack of suitable models to systematically study aneuploidy. On this matter, interesting perspectives were offered by the generation of novel isogenic cellular systems harboring stable and known aneuploidies. These systems hold the promise to provide unique tools to disclose novel dependencies of aneuploidy that could be potentially exploited in cancer therapy. In addition, several talks presented aneuploidy models that pertain to ageing, stem cells and Down syndrome – which could also be of relevance to study tumorigenesis.

All the talks inspired several excellent discussions among participants. Overall, everybody truly enjoyed seeing their colleagues and chatting science in a relaxed and stimulating environment, fostering interactions that will fuel new collaborative work in the near future. Overall, the feedback from the participants – both regarding the scientific aspects and regarding the logistical and social aspect – was very enthusiastic.

Venue & Travel Information

Castello Dal Pozzo

Via Visconti 8
28040 Oleggio Castello, Italy

www.castellodalpozzo.com
+39-0322-53713

Travel Forms

Travel forms are due 30 days prior to the start of the meeting to allow enough time to plan transportation.

The Malpensa Airport (MXP) is the preferred airport as it is only 25 minutes from the meeting location.

The Foundation will be providing airport transfer from MXP airport.

TRAVEL FORMS DUE:
March 21, 2022
submit travel form

Travel Policy

Please familiarize yourself with our policies and procedures for travel. We truly appreciate you taking the time to participate in this meeting. As you make your plans, please remember that we are a nonprofit organization dependent on donations and volunteers. We do NOT pay for upgrades, change fees, incurred costs resulting from a flight change, transportation to or from your local (home side) airport, meals or other incidentals.

  • Travel Confirmation will be sent out within 1 week of the meeting. This will include a hotel confirmation number, if there is one, and airport transfer details. We have to wait until we receive almost everyone’s travel to book airport transfer. Due to frequent airline changes, we wait until the week of the meeting to send this out.
  • Airport transfer is provided by Foundation staff, volunteers or arranged shuttle at specific times. If you opt to utilize Foundation airport transportation on your travel form, please be patient in receiving this information. We will send it to the week of the meeting.
  • Speaker agenda is not sent out prior to the meeting. It will be provided upon arrival in the meeting packet. We do not tell people when they are speaking because we expect everyone to attend all sessions. Sessions are all day Friday and Saturday.
  • REMINDER: We do not reimburse for home side airport transfer or incidentals while traveling. We will not honor miscellaneous receipts sent for these expenses.
  • Spouses are welcome to come with you at their own cost but are not allowed to attend the meeting. Please no children.

What the Foundation Pays

Accommodations and meals are provided by the foundation during the meeting. Airfare will be covered only if booked through our travel agent. The Foundation will also cover airport transportation on the meeting side at the designated shuttle times. You can select not to utilize Foundation arranged transportation at your own expense when completing the travel form. Once your travel form is received your accommodations and airport transfer will be confirmed. Please let us know of any food allergies or other information we should be aware of on the travel forms.

  • If you would like your airfare covered by the Foundation, you must book with our travel agent. Note we do not cover upgrades, changes, late bookings, etc.
  • Flights must be booked at least 30 days prior to the meeting to confirm your accommodations and airport transfer.
  • As a nonprofit we utilize volunteers and other methods to maximize our efforts (or our donor support) when making accommodations and arranging ground transportation. Ground transportation will be provided upon your arrival either by a foundation volunteer or arranged shuttle. You will be provided airport transportation information the week of the meeting. We do not reimburse for home side airport transfer or incidentals while traveling.

Abstracts

Abstracts are due 30 days prior to the start of the meeting to allow enough time to prepare the meeting book.

The abstracts should be only one or two paragraphs outlining the theme of your presentation and should reflect the objective and spirit of the meeting (see above). Abstracts will be circulated about one week before the meeting. The meeting organizer will start requesting them a month before the meeting.

abstracts DUE:
March 21, 2022
submit abstract

Meeting Structure

The meeting structure has been developed over years of experience.

  • Participants have approximately 45 minutes, depending on the number of participants, for their presentation and discussion. The presentation is meant as a conversation start and should last about twenty minutes briefly covering background information and areas that are new or need further input. This should be structured in such a way as to lead to a lively discussion. Participants are encouraged to interrupt to ask questions or start discussions.
  • A MAXIMUM of 5 slide equivalents per presentation is allowed (Power point slides should not contain more than one graph or gel per slide and no more than 5 bullet points to stress the points being made by the presenter.) We appreciate cooperation with the spirit of this guideline. Handouts are welcome but should be distributed before sessions.
  • Everyone is expected to actively participate in every session and discussions.
  • The time spent at the meeting is relatively short, so please be familiar with papers received prior to the meeting.
  • It is very important that you commit to all sessions of the 2 days of meetings.

Forbeck Scholars Participation

Scholars are selected for each Forbeck Forum. These are outstanding junior clinical or post-doctoral fellows selected based on the quality and relevance of science.

  • Scholars present for 30-45 minutes, depending on the number of participants
  • The same presentation rules apply for scholars
  • After the Forum you are selected to attend, you will attend three years of Scholar Retreats held in Lake Geneva, WI. If you attend a Fall Forum, you will attend the Spring Retreat. If you attend a Spring Forum you will attend a Fall Retreat.
  • Scholars are selected by the Foundation Scientific Advisory Board and peer reviewers selected from past Forbeck Scholars.

General Program

The outline below illustrates a typical program schedule. You will receive a complete schedule, including speaking times, the Thursday the meeting starts.

Arrival Day
1:00 PM Arrivals
6:00 PM Cocktails (opt'l)
7:00 PM Dinner
Meeting Day 1
7:00 AM Breakfast
8:00 AM Scientific Sessions
12:00 PM Lunch
1:30 PM Scientific Sessions
6:00 PM Cocktails & Dinner
Meeting Day 2
7:00 AM Breakfast
8:00 AM Scientific Sessions
12:00 PM Lunch
1:30 PM Scientific Sessions
6:00 PM Cocktails & Dinner
Departure Day
7:00 AM Breakfast
8:00 AM Departures

Frequently Asked Questions

Below are some of our most Frequently Asked Questions. If you have something new to ask, please feel free to contact us.

  • Travel Confirmation will be sent out within 1 week of the meeting. This will include a hotel confirmation number, if there is one, and airport transfer details. We have to wait until we receive almost everyone’s travel to book airport transfer. Due to frequent airline changes, we wait until the week of the meeting to send this out.
  • Airport transfer is provided by Foundation staff, volunteers or arranged shuttle at specific times. If you opt to utilize Foundation airport transportation on your travel form, please be patient in receiving this information. We will send it to the week of the meeting.
  • Speaker agenda is not sent out prior to the meeting. It will be provided upon arrival in the meeting packet. We do not tell people when they are speaking because we expect everyone to attend all sessions. Sessions are all day Friday and Saturday.
  • Frequently airport transfer is provided by volunteers. Please be patient on receiving this information. Airport transfer will be sent out prior to arrival.
  • REMINDER: We do not reimburse for home side airport transfer or incidentals while traveling. We will not honor miscellaneous receipts sent for these expenses.

Forum Participants

Samuel
Bakhoum
,
MD, PhD
Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
Ivana
Barbaric
,
PhD
The University of Sheffield
Don
Cleveland
,
PhD
Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research/UCSD
Floris
Foijer
,
PhD
ERIBA - University Medical Center Groningen
Eva
Gonzalez Suarez
,
PhD
CNIO (Centro Nacional de Investigaciones Oncológicas)
Shai
Izraeli
,
MD
Schneider Children's Medical Center and Tel Aviv University
Sarah
McClelland
,
PhD, BSc
Barts Centre - Cancer Research UK
Rene
Medema, PhD
,
PhD
Netherlands Cancer Institute
Cristina
Montagna
,
PhD
Albert Einstein College of Medicine
Rocio
Sotillo Roman
,
PhD
German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ)
Stephen
Taylor
,
PhD
University of Manchester
Eduardo
Torres
,
PhD
UMASS Medical School

Forum Scholars

Elsa Bernard, PhD
Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
Pippa Cosper, MD, PhD
University of Wisconsin, Madison
Elena Kuzmin, PhD
McGill University