The Egeblad lab studies the contributions of the tumor microenvironment - in which cancer cells arise and live - to therapy responses and metastasis.

Solid tumors are abnormally organized tissues that contain not only cancer cells, but also various stromal cell types and extracellular matrix, and these latter components constitute the microenvironment. Communications between the different components of the tumor influence its growth, its response to therapy, and its ability to metastasize.

The lab studies the importance of tumor-stroma communications using co-culture assays and mouse models of breast and pancreatic cancer. We use co-culture assays to interrogate signaling pathways involved in communications between cancer cells and specific types of stromal cells (e.g., macrophages, neutrophils and fibroblasts). We use microscopy of tumors in live mice to determine how interactions between cancer and stromal cells or activation of specific signaling pathways influence cellular survival, proliferation and migration. We use bioluminescence and small animal ultrasound to follow tumor progression and regression at the organism level.

Our main focus is on the functions of myeloid-derived immune cells, a diverse group of cells that can enhance angiogenesis and metastasis and suppress the response to chemotherapy and the cytotoxic immune responses against tumors. We study how different types of myeloid cells are recruited to tumors and how signals between them and the cancer cells, or other immune cells, influence response to chemotherapy and metastatic spread.

Our work in the news
Professor is 'rising star in cancer research' Times Beacon Record, July 31 2013

Cancer: Environment of chemo success. Nature 485, 282-282 (2012).

The Tumor Microenvironment Promotes Drug Resistance. Cancer Discov 2, 485 (2012).

Highlights from Recent Cancer Literature. Cancer Res 72, 2915-2916 (2012).

Interview of Hanne Askautrud for the Norwegian Newspaper “VG” (in Norwegian)

Our upcoming presentations
April 5-9, 2014 American Association for Cancer Research Annual Meeting 2014. Major Symposium: "The Cancer Cell Niche"
San Diego, California
April 22, 2014 New York Symposium on "Tumor Microenvironment: Mechanisms and Therapeutic Implications".
New York, New York
May 7-10 2014 EMBO|EMBL Symposium: Tumour microenvironment and signaling.
Heidelberg, Germany.
May 18-21, 2014 An AACR Special Conference. Pancreatic Cancer: Innovations in Research and Treatment
New Orleans, LA