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Meeting with Professor Kerbel in Bergen

Robert Kerbel, a leading expert on angiogenesis and Professor in the Department of Medical Biophysics University of Toronto, Senior Scientist at the Sunnybrook Research Institute (Toronto), and a Canada Research Chair in Tumor Biology and Angiogenesis, visited Bergen on June 11th. He gave a top lecture “Antiangiogenic Therapeutics in Oncology: Overview, Update, and Future Directions” at the joint BBB seminar and a special seminar of CCBIO.

Professor Kerbel holding a lecture in an auditorium
Professor Robert Kerbel visited Bergen on June 11th 2015. He gave a top lecture “Antiangiogenic Therapeutics in Oncology: Overview, Update, and Future Directions” at the joint BBB seminar and a special seminar of CCBIO.
Photo:
Oleg Tsinkalovsky

Broad ranged lecture and discussion

After describing the main types of current antiangiogenic drug based therapies (over the last decade nine different antiangiogenic drugs has been approved for over ten different cancer indications), Dr. Kerbel analyzed possible causes of numerous failures of phase III clinical trials that involved antiangiogenic drugs, and summarized the most promising strategies for improving the efficacy of antiangiogenic treatment. At the end of the talk Dr. Kerbel presented some of his personal studies focused on the development of improved, more translationally relevant preclinical therapy models of advanced metastatic disease for evaluating antiangiogenic drug mechanisms and efficacy. This fascinating lecture was followed by an impressive discussion which covered a broad range of questions from some specific issues of antiangiogenic therapy and its promising combination with immunotherapy, to the general perspectives of winning the war against cancer.

Collaboration between CCBIO and the Kerbel laboratory

As a part of his scientific program in Bergen Dr. Kerbel had a meeting with the CCBIO director Professor Lars Akslen, and the team of the Centre that focused on antiangiogenic treatment (Oddbjørn Straume group). The presentation of the current group projects had been developed into an interesting discussion about “vessel co-option” as a possible major factor in explaining resistance or limited efficacy of antiangiogenic monotherapy, and about a critical importance in discovery of predictive biomarkers of future clinical benefit. The meeting ended with a friendly agreement on establishing collaboration between CCBIO and the Kerbel laboratory.

Dr. Kerbel’s visit was truly beneficial and very inspiring for the biomedical research community in Bergen, so it was definitely successful. Dr. Kerbel said that he also enjoyed his trip and experience in Bergen, and would be glad to come again. We are looking forward to that.

Oleg Tsinkalovsky, MD, PhD