Callerio Foundation
NEWS - Groningen - The Netherlands, 25th – 26th February, 2013

WG1+WG5 Joint Meeting COST Action CM1105

Functional metal complexes that bind to biomolecules


The first meeting of Working Group 1 (WG1) in the frame of COST Action CM1105, was held in Groningen, The Netherlands, on February 25th and 26th together with WG5.

The meeting focussed on “Selectively fighting cancer: benefits from metal complexes by protein targeting and novel activation strategies” a title chosen to highlight the main topics the two WGs dealing with “Protein Targets” and “Prodrugs with novel activation strategies” respectively for WG1 and WG5.
The meeting was organised by the two WG leaders, Alberta Bergamo (Callerio Foundation) and Adoracion Gomez Quiroga (Universidad Autonoma Madrid), together with Angela Casini of the Dept. of Pharmacokinetics, Toxicology and Targeting, Research Institute of Pharmacy, Rijks Universiteit, as host Institution.

Participants were from several different European countries, with one invited speaker coming from the Brooklin College, NY, to show and share the main scientific breakthroughs achieved during this first year of activity of the COST Action CM1105. The scientific presentations dealt with the design of Pt(II), Pt(IV), and Au metal complexes as anti-cancer drugs, but also of multinuclear/heteronuclear complexes. Particular attention was given to interaction studies with biological targets, mainly proteins, and to activation strategies to improve the effectiveness of the metal-based compounds. Redox processes emerged as a topic of great interest and deserving further investigations, being involved in the description of the activity of more than one metal compound. In addition, the death mechanisms, such as cytostasis, cytotoxicity, senescence, apoptosis, anoikis, observed in cancer cells treated with different metal complexes were described, putting forward the diversity and the potential versatility metal-based compounds can offer as drugs. The search of new models was also extensively discussed, as a cutting-edge challenge with which researchers have to match in the post-genomic targeted therapy approach to the neoplastic disease.

The choice to organise a joint meeting was successful both for the scientific and the relationship outcomes: additional knowledge was obtained working along two WGs, and high complementarity and joint research interests between WG1 and WG5 were demonstrated. This positive synergy could be exploited in the future for advancements and promotion of scientific knowledge (e.g. joint publications), for activities and projects within the COST network (EU projects, Training Schools), for industrial perspectives (patents, spin-off…). An additional plus of this joint meeting was the space and the time devoted to Early Stage Researcher’s (ESRs) presentations, all of good scientific level, accomplishing also the formation role this type of meeting should have for the maintenance of the excellence in the metal-based compound field in Europe.

Last but not least, the recreational side of this WG1+WG5 joint meeting deserves a particular attention: a very pleasant staying in a friendly environment that fostered the interplay of relationships at working and personal level. All participants enjoyed a lot this experience.


to the NEWS page