Harnessing stroma-immune interactions for anti-cancer therapy
The interaction between stroma, i.e. cancer-associated fibroblasts (CAFs) and extracellular matrix (ECM), and immune cells has emerged as an active regulator of tumour development, aggressiveness and response to therapy. While it is clear that the stroma and the immune cells influence each other functions, the mechanisms underlying these interactions are largely unclear. Here, myself, Sara Zanivan, expert in tumour stroma biology, and Max Mazzone, expert in immune-oncology, we aim to bring together international experts in the fields of tumour stroma and immune-oncology to foster interactions between these two fields. During the meeting we aim to review:
- How stroma and the immune tumour microenvironment (immune-TME) evolve and their roles during cancer progression
- How stroma and immune-TME composition influence response to therapy
- State-of-the-art of stroma-immune interactions in cancer
- New hypothesis stroma-immune interactions in cancer
Ultimately, this discussion should lead to brainstorm on strategies to exploit stroma-immune interactions to oppose cancer and resistance to therapy, particularly anti-cancer immunotherapy, and establish new collaborations to tackle those questions in a timely manner.
Stroma-immune interactions have emerged as key theme in cancer research because of the increasing evidence that they play active roles in cancer pathology and response/resistance to therapy. This is therefore the right time to bring together leading experts in both fields to brainstorm and establish synergistic interactions for a deep understanding of these interactions in cancer. A Forbeck forum will provide a unique opportunity to facilitate collaborations between these two fields and speed up the progress of the research towards finding ways to exploit stroma-immune interactions for anti-cancer therapy.
- Advance our understanding on stroma-immune interactions.
- Foster collaborations between experts in the field of tumour stroma and immune-oncology.
- Enforce large dataset sharing and interpretation.
- Evaluate new trajectories for alternative combination therapies.
Venue & Travel Information
800 Asilomar Avenue
Pacific Grove, CA 93950
Travel forms are due 30 days prior to the start of the meeting to allow enough time to plan transportation.
To help reduce transportation costs, the Foundation tries to group travelers on shuttle vans rather than providing transportation for single travelers. The times below are not exclusive but represent times that we hope to have shuttles leave the airport.
The Monterey Regional Airport (MRY) is the preferred airport as it is only 20 minutes from the meeting location.
- Arrivals to MRY - Thursday around 1 PM, 3 PM and 5 PM
- Departures from the meeting venue - Sunday around 8 AM, 10 AM, and 12 PM
San Francisco International Airport (SFO) is 2 hours from the meeting location without traffic. The Foundation tries to prioritize International Flights and situations where flying into SFO is significantly cheaper than connecting to MRY. The times below are for guidance only, and depending on the volume of travelers, we may add an additional shuttle to and from the airport.
- Arrivals to SFO - Thursday around 3 PM
- Departures from the meeting venue - Sunday around 10 AM
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 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.
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.
The outline below illustrates a typical program schedule. You will receive a complete schedule, including speaking times, the Thursday the meeting starts.
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.
- Frequently airport transfer is provided by volunteers. Please be patient on receiving this information. Airport transfer will be sent out prior to arrival.