Ecological and evolutionary perspectives in cancer

Capture d’écran 2013-06-24 à 11.16.13

Roscoff (Brittany), France, November 2-6, 2013; Deadline for application: August 1, 2013

Chairperson: Michael Hochberg CNRS – Institut des Sciences de l’Evolution, Université Montpellier II – CC065, Place Eugène Bataillon, 34095 Montpellier Cedex 5, France
Phone: +33  (0) 4 67 14 36 67 – Fax : +33 4 67 14 36 67

Vice-Chairperson: Paul Ewald. Department of Biology, University of Louisville, Louisville Kentucky 40292, USA
Phone: +1 502 852-6771 – Fax : +1 502 852-0725
Mail :

Cancer is a disease of opportunity, associated with clonal evolution, expansion and competition within the body. Specifically, somatic cellular selection and evolution are the fundamental processes leading to malignancy, metastasis and resistance to therapies. The Jacques Monod Conference “Ecological and Evolutionary Perspectives in Cancer” aims to promote this emerging discipline by addressing some of the most important questions about cancerogenesis. The conference will cover 3 themes:

  • Interspecific patterns and processes
  • Progression
  • Therapies

The first theme will address the observation that infectious agents can cause cancers. Persistent infections may promote cancer because long-term host defensive responses induce inflammation that subsequently increases mutation rates. Why human defensive mechanisms have not evolved to more efficiently control or eliminate invasive cell lineages, and why do some species with more somatic tissue show less than expected incidences of cancer? The second theme will evaluate the role of the tumor environment and natural selection in explaining cancer progression. To what extent are different cancers predictable and what are the key contributing variables? The third theme will tackle the daunting challenge of employing evolutionary theories to improve cancer therapies. It will seek how preventative, curative and management therapies can be improved and even optimized to slow or stop the emergence of resistance to chemotherapies.

Please note that participation at this conference is not limited to research on carcinogenesis: we will consider applications from scientists with affinities towards the themes of the conference, and working on related topics from ecology and the evolutionary sciences, including social evolution, evolution of multicellularity, resistance management, evolutionary medicine of diseases, and species invasions.

Invited speakers

(provisional titles)

AKTIPIS Athena (San Francisco, USA)
Challenges and opportunities for evolutionary and ecological approaches to cancer

BEERENWINKEL Nico (Basel, Switzerland)
Using next-generation sequencing to estimate genetic tumor diversity and to inform mathematical models of tumor evolution

CICCARELLI Francesca (Milano, Italy)
Genome instability and the evolution of cancer

CLAIRAMBAULT Jean (Burnaby, Canada) 
Mathematical assessment of drug resistance in cancer cell populations: Genetic or epigenetic phenomenon?

CRESPI Bernard (Burnaby, Canada)
Genomic imprinting in the evolution and development of cancer

DELHOMMEAU François (Paris, France)
Clonal architecture in myeloid malignancies

EWALD Paul (Louisville, USA)
Toward a unified theory of cancer

FRIDMAN Hervé (Paris, France) 
Impact of patient’s immunity and inflammation on progression, metastasis and clinical outcome of cancers

GATENBY Robert (Tampa, USA) 
Evolutionary dynamics in cancer therapy

HAREL-BELLAN Annick (Gif-sur-Yvette, France)
Non-coding RNAs and cancer

HENG Henry (Detroit, USA)
Genome chaos and cancer evolution

HIBNER Urszula (Montpellier, France)
Host-pathogen interactions: hijacking of cellular functions by the Hepatitis C virus sensitizes the host cell to oncogenic transformation

HOCHBERG Michael (Montpellier, France)
Optimizing preventative therapies

MAINI Philip (Oxford, United Kingdom)
Mathematical and computational modeling of cancer growth and dynamics

MALEY Carlo (San Francisco, USA)
Why we get cancer and why it has been so hard to cure?

MORENO Eduardo (Bern, Switzerland)
Active mechanisms of cell selection during cancer growth

OLIVIERI Isabelle (Montpellier, France)
What can we learn from evolutionary thinking-based pesticide management for optimizing chemotherapy protocols?

PACHECO Jorge (Braga, Portugal)
Somatic evolution of cancer in hematopoiesis

PEPPER John (Bethesda, USA)
Evolutionary insights into acquired resistance to cancer therapy, and how to avoid it

QUINTANA-MURCI Lluis (Paris, France)
From evolutionary and population genetics to human disease

RADMAN Miroslav (Paris, France)
Keynote address: Biological clock in carcinogenesis

SAVAGE Philip (London, United Kingdom)
Why are only some cancers curable with chemotherapy?

SOLÉ Ricard (Barcelona, Spain)
The evolution of unstable cancer cell populations

SPROUFFSKE Kathleen (Zurich, Switzerland)
Reconstructing the order of somatic mutations in cancer progression

STRATTON Michael (Cambridge, United Kingdom)
Sequencing the cancer genome

THOMAS Frédéric (Montpellier, France)
Evolution of cancer vulnerability among species: Peto’s paradox revisited

TLSTY Thea (San Francisco, USA)
Identification of factors that control the rate of malignant evolution

TOMLINSON Ian (Oxford, United Kingdom)
Signatures and consequences of selection in colorectal cancer genes

WEITZMAN Jonathan (Paris, France)
What can intracellular parasites teach us about tumorigenesis?

ZUR HAUSEN Harald (Heidelberg, Germany)
Keynote address: Infectious etiology of human cancers

Web site of the conference