The milieu of cytokines enables individual cells to shape and modify their collective behavior within tissues and the entire organism. Accordingly, alterations in abundance and physiological responses to these cytokines plays a key role in development and progression of cancers, the diseases where this collective behavior rules go awry. Cytokines promote or counteract malignant transformation of cells and growth of cancer cells through the cell autonomous effects on cell proliferation, survival and motility. Furthermore, effects of cytokines on benign cells shapes the support of or defenses against growing tumor through affecting inflammation, angiogenesis, stromagenesis and anti-tumor immunity.
Type of cytokines and physiologic and pathologic context of their action defines the critical importance of these mediators as either pro-tumorigenic or anti-tumorigenic effectors. Accordingly, understanding of alterations of cytokine signaling in cancers is paramount for gaining the insight on the mechanisms of tumor development and progression. Moreover, work in this field is instrumental for understanding the role of cytokines in resistance of human cancers against modern modes of treatment and for devising novel therapeutic approaches that include delivery of anti-tumorigenic cytokines and inactivation of pro-tumorigenic cytokines. Finally, critically important role of cytokines in anti-tumor immunity and immune therapies of cancer further highlights the importance of research on the cytokine signaling in cancer.
Rapidly growing knowledge on the cytokine signaling in cancer requires extensive, robust and systematic analysis and synthesis that are hindered by inadequately met need for scientific exchange in this area. The proposed Aegean conference on the cytokine signaling in cancer should fill this gap and bring together outstanding experts in the area and enable exchange the information and ideas important for improving our understanding of cancer etiology, pathogenesis, and responses to therapies as well as devising novel diagnostic approaches and treatment modalities.