Symposium on Cellular Energy, Metabolism and Cancer

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A very exciting Symposium on Cellular Energy, Metabolism and Cancer was recently held at M. D. Anderson. The focus of the meeting was the role of alterations in metabolism in cancer, a topic that has been debated since first proposed by Dr. Otto Warburg ( ) in the early 20th century.

With the tremendous advances in genomics, proteomics and delineation of regulatory pathways, cancer biologists are taking a second close look at metabolism and finding that the switch to non-oxidative glycolysis is a hallmark of cancer.

A high point of the meeting was a keynote lecture by Dr. Craig Thompson from the Abramson Cancer Center of the University of Pennsylvania, who gave a broad overview of the field and set the stage for ensuing discussions. Another keynote at the end of the meeting by Dr. Ron Evans of the Salk Institute described some elegant work on how agents targeting nuclear receptors can be used to mimic exercise in mice -- fitness in a bottle.

The Bertner Award Prize was received by Dr. Lew Cantley of Harvard Medical School, whose work on PI3 kinase signaling has been a major force in the cancer field for years, and in the context of cellular energy is showing new, important directions. Three poster prizes also were presented.

The program was very multidisciplinary, including population sciences and therapeutic development. It was planned by the meeting's three co-chairs: Drs. Michele Forman, Cheryl Walker and Dihua Yu of M. D. Anderson.

A new facet of the symposium is that we recorded 18 of the 24 presentations, which are being posted on M. D. Anderson's iTunes University site.

 So, if you didn't get a chance to attend, you can catch the great science on your computer or MP3 player.

Give it a look or listen and let us know what you think.

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