The Department of Biomedicine

BBB seminar: Donald Gullberg

Stroma-targeting: a directed approach aimed at the tumor stroma fibroblast

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Donald Gullberg
Department of Biomedicine, University of Bergen

In recent years the awareness about the importance of the stroma for normal tissue homeostasis and tumor growth has increased. As a result of this more "global view", also taking the supportive stroma into consideration, the knowledge about the molecular mechanisms involved in pathological-related aspects of connective tissue stroma has improved substantially. Much of this progress has been in the field of angiogenesis where anti-angiogenesis approaches are receiving considerable attention.

In contrast to the recent focus on endothelial cells, much less is known about the major cell type in the stroma, the fibroblast. These cells produce an extracellular network containing fibrillar proteins in a process named fibrinogenesis. Pathological fibrinogenesis results in a fibrotic dysfunctional tissue in a variety of fibrotic disorders, and in tumorogenesis the extent of fibrinogenesis by tumor associated fibroblasts affects tumor growth. Starting with fibroblast integrins we intend to create a concerted action to increase the knowledge about the stromal fibroblasts with the ultimate aim to target tumor fibrogenesis and tumor growth.

Chair: Rolf Kåre Reed <rolf.reed@biomed.uib.no>, Dept. of Biomedicine