Systemic Effects of Cancer Think Tank (Overview)


Cancer is a complex systemic disease. Through a multitude of bidirectional soluble and physical interactions, cancer alters inter-organ communication and the macroenvironment. These alterations can impact responses to therapy and patient outcomes. However, our understanding of the complexity of systemic effects of cancer lags behind our understanding of primary cancers and local tumor microenvironmental interactions. Systems-biology oriented approaches are providing ways to begin to understand the dynamics of the systemic effects of cancer across scales, tissues and organs. Studies of cancer metastasis and cancer cachexia illuminate the complexities and difficulties in studying systemic effects. Although typically studied independently, metastasis and cachexia often coevolve, sharing overlapping mechanisms, pathways, and components that reprogram physiology, inflammation, and metabolism. This Think Tank invites discussion from experts in cancer cachexia, metastasis, and systems biology to assess the current state of understanding of the systemic effects of cancer and what would be needed to promote and accelerate progress to impact patient outcomes.

The Think Tank will be held at NCI Shady Grove, April 16 - 17, 2024, and will use a format that mixes short scientific presentations and provocative idea generation with round table breakout discussions. The overarching themes will center on systemic crosstalk (interactions and communications), modulators and drivers of systemic effects, and approaches to study or model systemic effects in patients and identify potential points of intervention.

Registration deadline: April 15, 2024

NCI Contact:
Joanna Watson, PhD