Keystone Symposia

This meeting took place in 2010

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Molecular and Cellular Biology of Immune Escape in Cancer (J6)

Organizer(s) George C. Prendergast and Dmitry I. Gabrilovich
February 7—12, 2010
Keystone Resort • Keystone, CO USA
Abstract Deadline: Oct 7, 2009
Late Abstract Deadline: Nov 6, 2009
Scholarship Deadline: Oct 7, 2009
Early Registration Deadline: Dec 7, 2009

Sponsored by Astellas Pharma Inc. and Genentech BioOncology

Summary of Meeting:
It is now widely recognized that the immune microenvironment of a tumor provides critical support in determining its progression versus dormancy or destruction. To gain immune benefits the tumor must evolve mechanisms of immune escape. Study of this crucial process requires cross-fertilization between molecular cell biologists and tumor immunologists who do not tend to interact. This problem is also integrated with the problem of cancer inflammation that has captured the attention of tumor biologists focused on transgenic mouse models and clinical settings. Thus, we propose a unique conference – the first of its kind – to integrate perspectives from a diverse set of researchers in cancer, immunology, and molecular therapeutics and to focus specifically on immune escape and tumor-induced immune suppression as a multidisciplinary problem. Cancer is initiated by the accumulation of genetic and epigenetic changes in a normal cell, but its progression depends on the stromal and immune microenvironment of the initiated cell. While intrinsic signals within the initiated cell drive neoplastic transformation and genomic plasticity, extrinsic signals delivered by immune cells are critical in dictating whether progression versus dormancy or destruction of an initiated lesion takes place, and also whether metastasis may occur. The high degree of genomic plasticity in cancer cells permits them to develop sophisticated ways to prevent the immune system from recognizing and eliminating tumor cells. It has become increasingly clear in recent years that abnormalities in the immune system that are induced by tumors not only hamper natural anti-tumor immune surveillance but also limit the efficacy of immunotherapy and even traditional chemotherapy and radiotherapy. Thus, tumor-induced immune abnormalities may not only impact the clinical course of disease but also the prospects for its therapeutic management. Recent results indicate that we are on the verge of a real breakthrough in our understanding of how tumors thwart the immune system and how correcting immune escape could vastly improve cancer therapy. However, at present the available mechanistic information presents a somewhat convoluted picture that includes some seemingly contradictory elements. While this situation is a natural stage of development in the field, there is nevertheless a pressing need to define key questions and organize their development in coherent ways that can speed improvements in cancer therapy.

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Scholarship / Award Information

Scholarship Deadline: October 7, 2009 (11:59 PM US Mountain Standard Time)
*All deadlines end at 11:59 PM US Mountain Standard Time
NOTE: Please use the button above to Apply for a Scholarship


Keystone Symposia is offering scholarships of up to 1,200 USD to Students and Postdoctoral fellows. These scholarships are to be used to help defray the expenses associated with conference attendance, including airfare (restrictions may apply based on funding source), ground transportation, lodging costs, and a portion of meeting registration. Receipts will be required to receive reimbursement.

Abstracts submitted for poster presentation will be used as the basis for awarding the scholarships. Scholarship recipients will be selected based on the quality of science of the abstract and the relevance of the abstract to the conference topic. Only one application per abstract is accepted. Only one award per lab will be allocated.


To be eligible for a scholarship, you must be:

A graduate student or postdoctoral fellow currently enrolled in an academic institute at the start of the meeting for which you are applying. Note: a graduate student is defined as a student who is studying for a higher degree at an academic institution. A postdoctoral fellow is defined as an individual with a Ph.D., M.D., or DVM degree who is engaged in a temporary period of mentored research and/or scholarly training for the purpose of acquiring the professional skills needed to pursue their desired career path, and is within 6 years of these degrees.

Review Criteria

Criteria for Abstract Review:

  1. Relevance to the meeting topic
  2. Significance of the scientific question and results
  3. Style
    • Organization (e.g. the abstract has a clear beginning, middle and end)
    • Grammar and spelling
  4. Clarity of scientific presentations
    • Clear question or hypothesis
    • Sufficient background
    • The experimental approach and rationale for the approach are clear
    • The results are clearly presented
    • The interpretation and conclusions are reasonable and logical

Application Process

If you are eligible and wish to be considered for a scholarship, you should complete all of the following by the scholarship deadline for the meeting you wish to attend. It is recommended you begin these steps in advance of the deadline date to ensure completion.

Click here to start a scholarship application.

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Underrepresented Trainee Scholarships are also available...
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