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Proteases as Cancer Therapeutic Targets

January 23–26, 2000

Chaired By

 Lynn M. Matrisian, PhD of Vanderbilt University School of Medicine

Meeting Description

The purpose of the meeting was to bring together basic scientists, clinical trialists, and pharmaceutical industry representatives to discuss the current state of understanding of the role proteases play in cancer and determine ways to accelerate and optimize the clinical application of protease inhibitors.

Meeting Summary

Sessions focused on the matrix metalloproteases (MMPs), other proteases implicated in cancer, clinical trial considerations related to the development of protease inhibitors and other cytostatic agents, and perspectives from the pharmaceutical industry. In the final discussion, all participants were asked to articulate one insight gained from the meeting that would influence their future efforts. It was clear that the ability to freely exchange information among a small group of investigators with very diverse backgrounds greatly enhanced the understanding and appreciation of the complexities of each component of the process required for effective translation of basic science findings into clinical practice. The tenacity required for the successful application of cytostatic therapies, and the advantage of a team approach with open communication between the various stakeholders to accomplish this goal, was particularly apparent.

The Forbeck Symposium provided an opportunity to initiate this exchange, and the participants were enthusiastic about applying the insights gained from this symposium to advance the identification of protease targets and accelerate the application of protease inhibitors to the treatment of cancer.

Forum Participants

Carl Blobel
Sloan Kettering Cancer Center

Peter Brown
British Biotech

Mary Collier
Agouron Pharmaceuticals

Keld Dano
Finsen Laboratory

Vincent Giranda
Abbott Laboratories

Louise Grochow
NCI Therapy Evaluation

Ken Hande
Vanderbilt University

Ernie Hawk
NCI Division of Cancer Prevention

Karen Hulkower
Abbott Laboratories

Rachel Humphrey
Bayer Corporation

Lynn M. Matrisian, PhD
Vanderbilt University

Timothy O'Brien
University of Arkansas

Steve Rosenberg
Chiron Corporation

Bonnie Sloane
Wayne State University