The Department of Biomedicine
Zoom Video Webinar

CCBIO webinar: Ellen Puré

Flanking solid tumors via immune-mediated disruption of desmoplastic stroma

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Ellen Puré
Department of Biomedical Sciences, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, USA

Solid tumors are dependent on cues intrinsic to malignant cells as well as on extrinsic factors derived from non-malignant components of the tissue/tumor microenvironment, overall ecology of the host and environmental factors. Malignant transformation and disease progression involves co-evolution of malignant cells and the vascular, neural, immune and stromal compartments of the cancer neo-organ. At the site of primary tumor, as well as sites of metastasis, this results in transition from the tumor resistant environment of normal tissue to establishment of a pro-tumorigenic niche and involves angiogenesis, innervation and transition from immune surveillance to immune escape. Activation of spatially and temporally diverse populations of stromal cells referred to collectively as cancer associated fibroblasts (CAFs), and dynamic extracellular matrix remodeling, are increasingly recognized as an essential hub in the complex network of communications within the tumor microenvironment that drives tumorigenesis and disease progression. The mechanisms of activation and effector functions of a pro-tumorigenic and immune suppressive subpopulation of fibroblast activation protein (FAP) expressing CAFs will be discussed. In addition, proof-of-concept that this subpopulation can be therapeutically targeted at a cellular or molecular level will be presented.

Chairperson: Donald Gullberg, CCBIO