Considering the key role of mitochondria in energy metabolism and in regulation of cell death, it appears that resistance of most tumors towards treatment can be, at least in part, explained by mitochondrial silencing in cancer cells. The goal of the EMBO Workshop is to bring together world leaders in several areas of biology and medicine, focusing on mitochondria that recently became an intriguing target for cancer therapy.

Heterogeneity of tumors dictates an individual approach to anticancer treatment. Despite their variability, almost all cancer cells demonstrate enhanced uptake and utilization of glucose, a phenomenon known as the Warburg effect, whereas mitochondrial activity in tumor cells is suppressed. Alterations in mitochondrial functions account for multiple aspects of metabolic reprogramming of transformed cells. Differences in mitochondrial functions between tumor and normal cells can be utilized to design selective anti-cancer therapies. Thus, a better understanding of cancer-specific alterations in mitochondrial physiology will open new perspectives to specifically target mitochondria of malignant cells. The inefficacy of established cancer therapies is to a large extent the result of oncogenic blockade of cell death pathways, therefore, compounds that directly affect mitochondrial functions are considered to present a promising alternative approach to eradicate chemotherapy-resistant cancers. Since mitochondria-targeted drugs can directly initiate mitochondrial perturbations independent of upstream signaling events, these agents may induce cell death and overcome drug resistance under circumstances, where conventional drugs fail to act because pathways upstream of mitochondria are frequently disrupted in cancer cells. Mitocans are small molecules with anti-cancer effect that act by targeting and destabilizing mitochondria, classified into several groups, based on their mode of action hold substantial promise as anti-cancer drugs of choice. An understanding of the fundamental mechanisms that govern the complex processes of mitochondrial apoptosis is expected to open new perspectives for cancer drug development.

MAC-09 in Prague and MAC-11 – in Singapore were very successful workshop, therefore, we decided to organize a third workshop MAC-13.

Workshop themes will include:

  • Mitochondria: physiology and metabolic changes in relation to cancer
  • Involvement of mitochondria in various cell death modalities
  • Interplay of mitochondria with other organelles during cell death
  • p53 and mitochondria in various cell death modalities
  • Mitochondria and Bcl-2 family proteins
  • Mitocans
  • Mitochondria and targeting of tumour cells





Nobel Forum

Nobels väg. 1, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden

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