Cancer micro and immuno environment

Interactions between malignant and non-transformed cells create the Tumor microenvironment (TME). The non-malignant cells of the TME have a dynamic and often tumor-promoting function at all stages of carcinogenesis .Intercellular communication is driven by a complex and dynamic network of cytokines, chemokine’s, growth factors, and inflammatory and matrix remodeling enzymes against a background of major perturbations to the physical and chemical properties of the tissue. The evolution, structure and activities of the cells in the TME have many parallels with the processes of wound healing and inflammation, but cells such as macrophages are also found in cancers that have no known association with chronic inflammatory conditions.

Cancer cells that grow to form invasive tumors may have escaped the immune system by creating a tumor-immune environment that allows the lesion to escape from immune attack.  Modification of the tumor environment can involve the down regulation of major histocompatibility complex molecules (MHC) or the induction of immune inhibitory cytokines and chemokine’s, leading directly to T cell energy and the expansion and activation of immune suppressive cell populations such as regulatory T cells (Tregs) and myeloid derived suppressor cells (MDSC).

  • Regulation of gene expression in the cancer microenvironment
  • Innate and adaptive immunity in the cancer microenvironment
  • Inflammation and cancer
  • Tumor-associated stroma and extracellular matrix
  • Tumor-endothelium interactions (angiogenesis, extravasation)
  • The metastatic niche
  • Targeting the tumor microenvironment
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