The stresses present in the tumor microenvironment (TME), including hypoxia, low nutrient availability, immune infiltrates are now recognized as physiological selective pressures that promote tumor aggressiveness and confound therapeutic efforts. The identification of pathways that tumors are critically dependent upon for growth will facilitate the generation of new drug targets that will provide more effective and less toxic therapeutics.
Significant advances have been made in understanding the genetic determinants of stress responses. However, the field is still lacking a concerted approach in which critical pathways required for tumor cell survival and tumor growth or resistance to chemotherapeutic agents are identified, imaged and evaluated for therapeutic efficacy. The overall goal of the meeting is to bring together scientists to: A. discuss different cellular and animal models of TME study and identify common pathways that are candidates for therapeutic intervention. B. Stimulate collaboration between groups that are more focused on elucidation of biochemical aspects of stress biology (e.g., HIF regulation) and groups that study the pathophysiological aspects of stress pathways or engaged in drug discovery. C. Critically evaluate novel targets for imaging or therapeutic intervention that would be of use to the TME community and Pharmaceutical industry.