“LIF As We Know It”: a new conference on Leukemia Inhibitory Factor

EACR Conference: LIF As We Know It | 28-29 May 2018 | Vall d'Hebron Institute of Oncology, Barcelona

There are few things more exciting than being the very first to do something. So we were delighted to organise the first international meeting on an exciting new topic, the therapeutic target LIF (Leukemia Inhibitory Factor).

LIF (Leukemia Inhibitory Factor) conference banner

84 participants gathered in Barcelona in May for the conference, titled “LIF As We Know It”, which focused on LIF (Leukemia Inhibitory Factor). LIF is a cytokine that is aberrantly expressed in cancer, and it represents a new and exciting therapeutic target. It regulates cancer stem cells, the tumour microenvironment and specifically the immune system.

The meeting began on Monday afternoon with a talk by Professor Joan Seoane, the Scientific Organiser, who spoke about the immunomodulatory role of LIF in cancer. Professor Seoane is Director of Translational Research at VHIO in Spain and Head of the Gene Expression and Cancer Laboratory. Also in speaking in the first session were Cédric Gaggioli (IRCAN, France) and Wenwei Hu (Rutgers Cancer Institute, USA).

The second session focused on early phase clinical trials. Lillian Siu (University of Toronto, Canada) discussed predictive biomarkers, and Josep Tabernero (VHIO, Spain) covered an ongoing phase 1 study looking at the effect of MSC-1, an anti-LIF antibody.

Day 2 began with another session on Leukemia Inhibitory Factor in cancer, with talks from Tony Hunter (Salk Institute, USA), Benjamin Neel (NYU Langone Health, USA), Andrew Lowy (UCSD, USA) and Manuel Serrano (IRB Barcelona, Spain). In this session Peter Heinrich (Albert-Ludwig University, Germany) gave a historical overview of LIF research and the IL-6 family of cytokine. Many participants told us that Peter Heinrich’s talk was one of the top highlights of the meeting for them.

Leukemia Inhibitory Factor meeting bursary winners
EACR meeting bursary winners Fawziya Abdelmaogoud Ragab Ibrahim, Nur Ekimci Gurcan and Milena Cavic

The final session, looking at LIF in inflammation, gave a broader perspective on current investigations into the role of LIF. Su Metcalfe (University of Cambridge, UK) spoke about the potential uses of LIF in Multiple Sclerosis therapy, Niels Hellings (Hasselt University, Belgium) discussed neuroimmunological disease, and Keith Pennypacker (University of Kentucky, USA) talked about his work looking at age-related differences in the response to LIF.

Professor Seoane concluded the meeting by summarising some of the ideas covered and lessons learnt. He also presented EACR Meeting Bursaries to the three winners, who were fully funded to attend the meeting by the EACR. You can find out more about EACR Meeting Bursaries by following this link to the EACR website.

Participant feedback survey results

Participants who would recommend the conference to others 100%
Satisfaction score for scientific quality 100%
‘Excellent’ or ‘very good’ score for scientific quality 98%

What did participants have to say?

“Great focused meeting exploring diverse aspects of LIF biology, role in health and disease, potential as a therapeutic. Rare thing to have the world experts for a target all in an intimate meeting setting.”

“EACR conferences are the best when it comes to cancer research and presentation of new findings and approaches towards cancer treatments.”

“The conference was well organized, the chosen speakers were top researchers in the field.”

“There was a gradual build-up of the required background knowledge, which made it very easy to follow.”

Interested in finding out more about EACR conferences?

We organise lots of high quality cancer research conferences. Take a look at the Conference page on the EACR website.