4th ISPDC Annual Meeting - Munich 2013

Thursday, 10 October 2013 to Saturday, 12 October 2013

This fourth annual meeting of our young and dynamic society was held on the Garching Research Campus - in modern buildings of the Technical University of Munich, but yet in contact with Bavarian lifestyle.  A curtain of clouds and rain obscured a glimpse of the alpine horizon while fostering indoor activities:  lectures with lively, even controversial discussions in the “black box”, the black wooded building with the lecture hall, as well as relaxed coffee breaks and poster viewing in the hall of the Institute of Medical Engineering (IMETUM) across the lawn.

The success of this meeting can certainly be attributed to the c.100 participants coming from 16 different countries, mainly Europe, but also from China, India, Japan, and the U.S.A. About 25 % of attendees were PhD-students. The program, divided into nine sessions, covered a wide range of topics on the role and dynamics of pH in cancer ranging from basic cellular processes to NMR imaging, and therapeutic developments at the preclinical level  (see program attachment). Among the scientific highlights were the profound presentations from the key-note speakers:

1.     Andrew Halestrap (Bristol, UK): Monocarboxylate transporters (MCTs): structure, roles, regulation and potential as therapeutic targets. 

2.     Silvia Pastorekova (Bratislava, Slovakia): CA IX role in pH regulation and signaling in cancer - a subcellular context-related view .

3.     Peter Vaupel (Mainz, Germany): The pathophysiology of the tumor microenvironment: Coping with hostile conditions and spatio-temporal heterogeneities.

4.     John Griffith (Cambridge, UK): Seeing pH with NMR: Carbonic Anhydrase IX as the pHstat that Sets Tumour Extracellular pH.

Further 42 spekaers and 20 poster presentations, representing different approaches and views on proton dynamics, contributed the latest results. While proton shuttling through the plasma membranes by various protein families, namely  the monocarboxylate transporters and the Na+/H+-exchangers,  along with carbonic anhydrases remained to be key issues in the field, the role of pH in different cell functions in tumor cell survival  and metastasis were also highlighted. These included energy metabolism and autophagy as well as migration, epithelial-mesenchymal transitions, and immunological effects. Closer to the clinic are new developments in NMR imaging of tumor pH. Last but not least, preclinical results and new concepts on therapeutic strategies based on changing proton dynamics in tumors completed the meeting. All together these presentations contributed to a more complete picture with many new interesting facets of how proton dynamics play a central role in the prevention, detection and therapy of cancer.


The next annual meeting 2014 will be in Bratislava. We look forward to meeting you there!

Angela M. Otto (President of the 4th ISPDC Munich Meeting)