Centre for Cancer Biomarkers CCBIO
CCBIO Seminar series

CCBIO Seminar – Kaisa Lehti

Welcome to the CCBIO seminars in the spring term 2022! Kaisa Lehti from the Department of Biomedical Laboratory Science, Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) will give a talk entitled “Crosstalk of desmoplastic tumor microenvironment and ovarian cancer in metastasis and therapy resistance”. She will be in person in Auditorium 4, BBB, so join in the auditorium, or join via Zoom.

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Speaker: Kaisa Lehti, Professor of Cell and Molecular Biology, Department of Biomedical Laboratory Science, Faculty of Natural Sciences, Norwegian University of Science and Technology/NTNU, Trondheim, Norway

Title: “Crosstalk of desmoplastic tumor microenvironment and ovarian cancer in metastasis and therapy resistance”.

Time: February 17, 2022 at 14.30

Place: Auditorium 4 in the BB-building, Bergen. We encourage all who can, to join in the auditorium where Kaisa Lehti will be in person, and those of you who cannot, have the opportunity to join via Zoom. Use this Zoom link.

Host: Line Bjørge

Short bio: Kaisa Lehti is professor of cell and molecular biology at NTNU and group leader at Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm. She focuses on translational ovarian cancer research, phenotypic plasticity and microenvironment-dependent cell signaling mechanisms in tumor invasion, metastasis and drug resistance. Her group has developed clinically relevant ex vivo models of primary cells, tumoroids and tissue explant cultures as well as in vivo tumor models. Results using these models have revealed potent markers and targetable mechanisms of fibrotic extracellular matrix (ECM) remodeling, oncogenic cell signaling and transmembrane protease - adhesion receptor crosstalk. In this research, collaboration between basic researchers and clinicians provide the basis for the development of significant study models and mechanistic results with potential to pave a way for improved cancer treatments. 

Abstract: Aggressive tumors are driven by complex crosstalk between cancer cells and the tumor microenvironment (TME). To date, great efforts are invested to cancer intrinsic programs for precision cancer therapy. Yet, heterogeneous cancer cells at specific TMEs develop resistance to the drugs developed for mechanisms in cancer cells alone. An unresolved challenge thus remains in the mechanisms governing the multicellular crosstalk and aggressive cancer phenotypes in the 3D TMEs. In this seminar, I will discuss our approaches using tumor & stromal cells and tissues collected longitudinally from patients with ovarian cancer (OC), the lethal gynecological malignancy with progressively chemotherapy-resistant metastases, to explore the development of therapy resistance. By examining OC transcriptome and histology, we have described the fibrotic ECM heterogeneity at primary tumors and distinct metastatic sites, prior and after chemotherapy. This data guides us in the development of clinically relevant ex vivo models for molecular mechanistic research. From there, the results are starting to suggest distinct stromal and tumor strategies and biomarker candidates for ECM and fibrosis pathway targeting to overcome therapy resistance.

Welcome - open for all!