The field of apoptosis or programmed cell death research remains among the most rapidly advancing areas in the biomedical sciences. As a consequence of this interest it is widely appreciated that inappropriate or disordered cell death contributes to the pathogenis of many common diseases including cancer, auto-immunity and neurodegenerative diseases. This appreciation has recently enabled new therapies to be developed and implemented. This meeting will focus on therapeutic targets, which have been recently identified based on mechanistic studies in the field of cell death research. Importantly, current information will be presented from clinical trials designed to assess feasibility and efficacy of cell death manipulation for therapeutic effect. The conference will bring together a multidisciplinary and internationally recognized group of scientists and clinicians to focus on the issues of new therapy development in this context. Therefore, the emphasis of the meeting will differ from other cell death speciality conferences whose focus is primarily linked to molecular and biochemical studies of cell death regulation. Because of the enormous interest and investment on the part of commercial biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies in this area, it is intended that this conference will facilitate interaction between scientists, clinicians and industry. We hope to facilitate the participation of younger European scientists, thus giving them the opportunity to make new professional contacts among the different partners interested in the development of therapies based on the manipulation of cell death and to contribute to the development of novel transdisciplinary research projects involving basic, clinical and therapeutic science.
It is hoped that one outcome of this interaction will be an acceleration in the development of therapy for patients suffering from diseases resulting from disordered cell death.