I recently attended the Fourth Annual NCI Physical Sciences-Oncology Centers (PS-OCs) Network Investigators’ Meeting in Scottsdale, Arizona, as part of my research is supported by the Cornell Center for Microenviroment and Metastasis PS-OC.
During this conference I presented a poster describing some of the recent progress I have made regarding parallelized immunocapture of circulating pancreatic cells. I also presented some of our clinical data on circulating pancreatic cell capture in an at-risk population. The poster received a good amount of attention and I had some meaningful conversations with NCI executives.
As the name implies the PS-OC network was a quite unique mixture of physical scientists, biologists and medical doctors. As a result, the presentations and discussions spanned a very wide range of topics and perspectives. I especially enjoyed the discussions on; whether cancer should be viewed as a neo-darwinian or atavistic process, if cancer is a disease or not, and what the nature of the Warburg effect is, even if these topics are outside the realm of my own research. These discussions brought to attention the difference in language use and research culture between physical scientists and medical doctors, pathologists in particular. This of course highlights both the challenges and the unique potential of the PS-OC network, as it forces these two aspects of cancer research to meet.
As the PS-OC NCI grant is on its final year, a clear focus of the meeting was to consolidate the research efforts within and between the PS-OCs for the last year and to prepare the work towards renewing the grant.