125 people from 29 countries including New Zealand, Malaysia and India all met in the stunning Centro Congressi Giovanni XIII in Bergamo, Italy for the 5th edition of A Matter of Life or Death: Mechanisms, Models and Therapeutic Opportunities.

98.9% of participants said they would recommend the conference to others, which is the case with almost all EACR Conferences. Furthermore, the participant feedback also revealed that 94.2% rated the scientific content of the conference as ‘excellent’ or ‘very good’!

Feedback from participants:

A Matter of Life or Death 2020
The Discussion Forum, “Novel frontiers in regulated cell death and senescence: what is the desirable type of cell inactivation in cancer therapy?”

Much of the feedback centred on the prominence of autophagy and senescence throughout the talks, both of which proved to be highly popular with our participants. Another popular aspect of the conference was the Discussion Forum, “Novel frontiers in regulated cell death and senescence: what is the desirable type of cell inactivation in cancer therapy?”. Chaired by Patrizia Agostinis, the discussion between Peter de Keizer, Silvia Formenti, Dagmar Kulms and Brent Stockwell provided different perspectives on an important topic and enabled participants to pose their own questions to the panel. In a similar vein, Silvia Formenti and Verena Jendrossek’s Meet the Expert session on women in science and their career paths was another key highlight.

“The conference was extremely inspiring, included great speakers, very pleasant atmosphere encouraging interactions (and was full of novel ideas!)”

“The women in science talk was excellent and I enjoyed the poster presentations.”

“It was a wonderful opportunity to meet the experts and hear the latest novelties in the field. The session MEET THE EXPERTS TALK was especially inspiring for me as a young researcher.”

“I learnt a lot about autophagy, senescence, ferroptosis and find so many connections between these topics and mine to creates new research niches for my future research. Also presenting my research during poster session and meet the experts like Brent Stockwell and Sharon Tooze and discuss my own work was really exciting.”

“It was nice to see so many young people working in the field. The keynote lectures were great.”

Meeting Bursary awards:

We were very pleased to award five EACR-Worldwide Cancer Research Bursary Awards to aid students or early-career members in attending this conference. Our congratulations to:

A Matter of Life or Death 2020
Marion MacFarlane (far left) & Patrizia Agostinis (second right) with the EACR-Worldwide Cancer Research Meeting Bursary winners (L-R): Marloes Christina Maria Jonkhout, Sinan Karakaya, Monica Vara Perez, Elmira Vagapova & Zulrahman Erlangga
  • Zulrahman Erlangga Germany
  • Sinan Karakaya Germany
  • Marloes Christina Maria Jonkhout Belgium
  • Elmira Vagapova Russia
  • Monica Vara Perez Belgium

We would like to thank Worldwide Cancer Research for contributing to the bursaries to allow early-career researchers to attend.


At every EACR Conference, we create a conference hashtag for people to use on social media in order to promote discussion, collaboration and interaction. For A Matter of Life or Death, the hashtag used was #EACRLifeOrDeath20. These are just a few of your contributions:

Facebook gallery:

A gallery of images from A Matter of Life or Death 2020 can be found on the EACR’s Facebook page, which is here.

A Matter of Life or Death 2020
Poster Discussion Session


The A Matter of Life or Death 2020 Scientific Programme Committee consisted of:

  • Patrizia Agostinis Belgium
  • Peter de Keizer Netherlands
  • Simone Fulda Germany
  • Verena Jendrossek Germany (Chair)
  • Marion MacFarlane UK