Although chronic non-communicable diseases are becoming a leading health burden to the people worldwide, chronic infections, such as AIDS and tuberculosis, are still major killers in many countries. Chronic infections, that are not directly fatal, such as those caused by Helicobacter pylori, human papilloma viruses, hepatitis viruses, Epstein-Barr viruses, liver and blood flukes, etc., can also lead to severe long-term sequels, most notably cancers. Public health controls of chronic infections are usually difficult and hampered by various scientific and socio-economic factors. Even though the effective controls of the etiologic agents of cancers are implemented, decades are still required before the chronic infectious diseases will be eliminated. Moreover, a few more decades may be needed before their associated cancers will disappear. These indicate that continuous scientific exploration on the control of the infectious agents, the oncogenic processes associated with the infections and effective treatment measures are still much needed.
There have already been several achievements that lead to control of chronic infections associated with cancers. The discovery of human papilloma viruses (HPVs) as a causative agent of cervical cancer leads to the subsequent development of HPV vaccines and the hope to finally eradicate the disease. The discovery of Helicobacter pylori as a causative agent of stomach cancer similarly leads to a concrete possibility to finally control the cancer. It is also certainly possible that new infectious etiologic agents of cancers are to be discovered and ascertained. Recently, there are several scientific advancements that raise new possibilities to study and offer solutions to chronic infectious diseases and infection-associated cancers. For example, the advancement of high throughput genotyping and the availability of human genetic variation databases of population around the world make genome-wide association studies more feasible. The availability of high throughput sequencing make it possible to discover novel associations between microbes and cancers. The advance of systems biology, cellular biology, nanobiotechnology and imaging technology instigate global analysis of host-pathogen interactions in a way never before possible. The advancement of the cancer genome projects and cancer biology lead to tremendous understanding on the pathogenic mechanisms of various cancers and provide insights to the pathogenesis of cancers associated with infections.
To utilize all of these advancements, scientific research is becoming more global and multidisciplinary and need extensive exchanges of knowledge and techniques between people in various fields. The Mahidol International Conference on Infections and Cancers 2012 aims to set an international platform to facilitate such necessary knowledge exchanges. Invited speakers in the meeting include world-renowned scientists who pioneered the proof of infectious agents as a cause of cancers, leading scientists who bring genomics, bioinformatics, and systems biology into the field of chronic infections and cancers, as well as the scientists who work on specific pathogens and cancers. Scientists from various disciplines, such as microbiology, immunology, infectious diseases, cancer biology, genomics and systems biology, etc., are expected to participate in the meeting to interact and exchange their knowledge, technologies and expertise to explore new pathways to control chronic infections and/or their consequences.
Venue: Landmark Hotel, Bangkok
Dates: 3 days on 6-8 February 2012
Organized by Faculty of Science, Mahidol University.
Supported by the Endowment Fund for Professor Pornchai Matangkasombut’s CHAIR PROFESSOR