The ancient Greek term "anakoinosis", means "communication"; induction of anakoinosis in tumors aims at establishing novel communicative behavior of tumor tissues or between tumor tissue and hosting organism by re-modulating gene expression.
Similar to reprogramming somatic cells to induced pluripotent stem cells, tumor tissues may be therapeutically reprogrammed so that differentiation, senescence or apoptosis of the tumor cells is accessible even in heavily pre-treated and resistant tumors.
Anakoinosis with its communication redirecting intension is thus the opposite of classic targeted therapies, which aim at interrupting tumor-promoting pathways or eliminating single cell compartments with maximal tolerable doses.
The use of re-modulating active drugs in resistant metastatic neoplasias of quite different histologic origin unclosed the option for interfering with important communication rules within tumor tissues, for integrating palliative care into the trajectory of cancer care, and for identifying the procedure as generally applicable approach in chemorefractory tumors and hematologic malignancies.
WHY A CONFERENCE ON ANAKOINOSIS
A strong motivation for this Second Conference on “ANAKOINOSIS - Re-establishing apoptosis competence via communicative reprogramming: A novel anticancer therapy” is the necessity to create a scientific network, where diversified expertise (clinics, cell-developmental-molecular biology, pharmacology, pathology, histology, etc.) converge to explain and support the potential development of biomodulatory anticancer therapy. Separately developing cancer-related fields may benefit from a focused exchange of information, providing more sensible means of treating cancer clinically. For example, the notion that the cancer phenotype is recessive, confirmed by a huge number of relevant published studies, but somehow neglected by people working on the molecular aspect of cancer, may greatly help focusing the therapies that target the cancer microenvironment; or still, the notion that caspase-dependent apoptosis may promote tissue regeneration (thus favouring relapses), though well documented, is often ignored when programming a cytotoxic therapy.
Above all, it is important and urgent to extend the knowledge on the very complex mechanisms controlling tissue homeostasis, which is still at its dawn due to the high complexity and uncertainty of the communicative rules. Gathering scientists with different expertise may be an ideal way of assessing the state-of-the-art of nowadays knowledge on the various key issues, and starting developing a network for future development, to exploit the potential of the anakoinosis inducing anticancer therapy from the clinical and pharmacological point of view.
The Conference is linked with a Research Topic of the Journal "Frontiers in Pharmacology" where speakers may contribute with a review or data paper.