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7th Munich Cancer Retreat Goes Virtual

Cancel or postpone? This decision had to be made for almost all planned events in 2020 so far to avoid health risks for potential participants due to COVID19. To cancel was not an option, so the 7th Munich Cancer Retreat was shifted from Herrsching am Ammersee to the World Wide Web and was held as a virtual conference on June 30, 2020.

7th Munich Cancer Retreat: Best Talk Award (© DKTK/Munich)

The originally planned two day program was condensed to a compact 6 hour meeting. The initially planned two key notes were included as highlights, this time given live from Amsterdam and London. C. Jimenez, introduced by B. Küster (coordinator DKTK proteomics platform CGP) and W. Weichert (spokesperson DKTK partner site München) talked about the approach of consortia in the Netherlands on clinical proteomics, one of the core interest areas at the partner site München. M. von Bergwelt (deputy spokesperson DKTK München) introduced D. Rückert and his talk on artificial intelligence, who showed how to employ neuronal networks to improve imaging quality, without doubt one of the exciting emerging areas in cancer research.

Further talks from the DKTK programs EOMCI and MDEB as well as the CGP platform highlighted the variety of ongoing translational research activities at the partner site München. In addition, neighbouring cancer core structures in Munich comprising the CCCM and BZKF (founded in 2019) were presented by H. Algül (Director of the CCCM) and J. Mayerle (Member of BZKF Board of Directors). Joint Funding projects starting in 2020 were presented as well.

Recent activities of the School of Oncology were discussed, including the newly introduced local exchange program Munich OncoTrack. Already one day earlier, the online Career Tools workshops for young scientists took place focussing on scientific writing and managing your science. According to a subsequent poll amongst participants all learned (very) valuable things for their upcoming career.

63% participants voted for C. Falcomata (Saur lab, MRI) and her talk on Overcoming therapeutic resistance in pancreatic cancer to be the Best Talk given by a young scientist. She´ll receive a travel grant for a European conference of her choice.

The 7th Munich Cancer Retreat was – despite of singularized technical challenges – a successful virtual scientific meeting. In a subsequent poll however, more than two third of the participants as well as the organizers expressed the opinion that an online meeting cannot fully replace the personal interaction of a retreat. Thus, the 8th Munich Cancer Retreat is again planned to be held in Herrsching am Ammersee.

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