The President's VisionWords from our current MRS President: Professor Julio Aguirre-Ghiso
Welcome to the Metastasis Research Society!
The major challenge faced by physicians is the prevention and treatment of metastasis, the main reason for cancer mortality. Surprisingly, cancer patients presumed cured after primary tumor removal and therapy, can carry non-proliferating ‘dormant’ disseminated cancer cells for years before reactivating to form incurable metastasis. This notion has opened new opportunities for monitoring metastatic disease and targeting it.
My vision as president of the Metastasis Research Society (MRS) is to expand our understanding of the biology of metastasis biology and targeting by fostering research and education that further deepens our understanding of all stages of metastatic progression. The goal is to understand how the seeds of metastasis operate in order to target them and prevent metastasis across solid cancers but also relapse in other malignancies. Building on the work of past presidents the goal is to further lead a paradigm shift in how we understand and target metastasis.
The mission of the MRS is to foster the collaboration between all stakeholders of the metastasis research and advocacy community, promote the dissemination and exchange of information about latest research and treatment advances, support the career development of young scientists in the field, and advocate for funding support and favorable policy changes for metastasis research, drug development and patient care.
To achieve these goals, the MRS organizes our international biennial congresses and special conferences in different locations around the world, often times in partnership with our sister organizations globally, including the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR), the European Association for Cancer Research (EACR), the Japanese Association for Metastasis Research (JAMR), the Chinese Society of Tumor Metastasis (CSTM) and the Australian Metastasis Research Society (OzMRS). Through a long-term partnership with patient advocacy organizations such as METAvivor and the Susan Komen Foundation among others, the MRS strives to build a platform to facilitate the cooperation and exchange of information between metastasis researchers and clinicians, and patients/advocates. By joining the new “supporting member” category of MRS membership, patients, advocates, and families can lend their voice to the development and execution of patient-centered cancer metastasis research projects and grants, while gaining a “seat at the bench” to learn about the latest advance in metastasis research and drug development in easily accessible terms.
Our goal is to also expand the MRS international membership to have a better representation of the different career paths, life experiences, research and medical training that help bring diversity of views, cultures and scientific knowledge that without doubt influence a better path to discoveries.
As expertly said by our past president Yibin Kang, sea of change is happening in metastasis research and treatment. Years of research have led to a deep understanding about the pathogenesis of metastatic diseases, although many mysteries remain to be solved. Many late stage cancers that have been previously considered incurable or even untreatable are now having dramatic response to newly developed therapies.
The promise and reality of how research has changed the treatment of metastatic disease brings constant excitement for metastasis research.
I hope you will join the MRS to share this excitement and support our effort to understand and defeat metastatic cancer.
Julio Aguirre-Ghiso, PhD