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CENTRE OF EXCELLENCE SYMPOSIUM

World leading cancer researchers met at Solstrand

Many of the world's top cancer researchers presented the latest in cancer research when the Centre for Cancer Biomarkers invited to a two-day symposium at Solstrand.

The participants at the Centre for Cancer Biomarker's third annual symposium at Solstrand, south of Bergen, in May 2015.
DISCUSSING PRESENT AND FUTURE CHALLENGES: Two hundred cancer researchers met at Solstrand hotel 19 and 20 May 2015 for CCBIO’s third cancer research symposium.
Photo:
Ingvild Festervoll Melien

The Centre for Cancer Biomarkers (CCBIO) hosted their third annual symposium at Solstrand May 19th and 20th. A wide range of participants, from international leading researchers to PhD students, met to discuss the latest advances in cancer research. The two days included both oral presentations and poster sessions, where younger researchers had the opportunity to present their research.

Professor and CCBIO Director Lars A. Akslen emphasizes among other Klaus Pantel’s lecture on the use of blood tests for diagnosis and prognosis tools for cancer, as example of a highly relevant issue.

- Carcinomas emit cells and DNA that circulates in the blood. This type of blood tests might prove to be an exciting and accurate way to monitor cancer in addition to imaging techniques, Akslen explains.

Takes too long

CCBIO is continuously looking to exploit new knowledge on cancer biology. Researchers at the centre have a particular focus on identifying the reasons why tumors behave as they do. They want to investigate why some become aggressive, and how long they are able to conceal that they are.

They attempt constantly to transfer new knowledge about these mechanisms to a clinical context, in order to diagnose more precisely and provide better and more targeted treatment.

Akslen points out that the centre is trying to shorten the time from research to clinic and from diagnosis to treatment.

- Part of the reason that the path from research to treatment is too long today, is that the pharmaceutical industry is focusing too much on large and slow trials, which in time makes more money, Akslen says.

Out of the box

An important aspect of the Solstrand symposium is that participants meet to discuss contemporary issues in a more informal setting than what is often common at large cancer conferences, where major international research stars often fly straight in and out again.

At Solstrand the around 200 scientists are "forced" together for two days. Two hours of each day during lunch are dedicated to poster sessions where students and young researchers can present their projects for the more established international researchers.

- As a Centre of Excellence it is important for us to be excellent in education as well as in research. The symposium at Solstrand facilitates that students and researchers can make new contacts and catch up on the latest research in their field. At the same time the setting itself gives you room to think out of the box, Lars A. Akslen says.

 

Next year's symposium

Save the date for the 4th CCBIO Annual Symposium: May 10-11, 2016