A word from the Chair

Tamara Lah Turnšek, PhD
Program Committee Chairwoman
Director of National Institute of Biology, Slovenia

ISSS 2013 will be unique in the fact that it will be devided in two parts, both related to stem cells. The first part – ISS2013 / Part A – will focus on the role of stem cells in cancer and will be held in april 2012.

The second part – ISS2013 / Part B – will deal with the application of stem cell in treating various diseases including cancer, focusing more on the associated technologies.

Cancer incidence is increasing worldwide and is becoming the leading cause of death, competing with cardiovascular diseases. Most of tumour cells acquire the capacity to spread to other tissue forming metastases, which are the actual cause of death in 90% of cancer patients Due to increased understanding of the aetiology and progression of cancer at the systemic, cellular and molecular levels, the mortality of some types of this disease is drastically decreasing. This is due successful translation of the basic knowledge into diagnostics, therapy and prevention strategies. There is, however, a wide variability between different countries worldwide in cancer incidence, due to social and epidemiological factors, such as screening, control plans, individual life styles and food consumption, occupational exposures, etc.

Therefore, it is of utmost importance that we increase the level of understanding and expertise in experimental and translational oncology to further improve the overall control over cancer mortality. The ISS 2013 / Part A is dedicated to educate the international groups of graduate students of biochemistry, biology, biotechnology, pharmacy and medicine as well as professionals – from young clinicians to social workers working in the field – in the mechanisms of cancer progression and methodology in cancer research and treatment.

Following the traditional scope of previous ISS schools we will focus on the dual role in stem cells in cancer progression, which is either host protective (due to anti tumorigenic activities of normal tissue – mesenchymal stem cells) or carcinogenic (due to the initiation of cancer stem cells and their de-differentiation in malignant tumour cells). The latest approaches using cellular therapy will be presented in the lectures and lively discussed among the teachers and the students.

We hope that the subject will attract a number of graduate students from different countries to attend ISS 2013!

The course will focus on cancer research and treatment, with an emphasis on:

  • Stem cell biology and methodologies used in experimental research
  • Tumour associated stem cells and their dual role of stem cells in cancer progression,
  • Cancer stem cells environment
  • Targets for development of stem cell-based therapies
  • Current advances in the experimental oncology
  • Current animal models and advances in preclinical animal studies
  • From in vitro to in vivo – from in vivo to clinics – for successful treatment of the disease

For more admissions information please contact: iss.vipava@gmail.com