Tumor Microenvironment and Cancer Immunology Program

fluorescently stained tumor sample

Escaping detection

The tumor microenvironment is filled with noncancerous cells and molecules that are nevertheless an integral part of cancer.

Some tumors hijack these neighbors to help build physical walls around themselves. Many trick the microenvironment to help grow new blood vessels to supply them with energy. Tumors can also fool the immune system to escape detection, and can even mobilize immune cells to promote their growth. 

Director's statement

We are exploring how the interplay between cancer cells, the microenvironment and immune cells regulates the growth and metastasis of solid and hematologic malignancies. Our program members have diverse interests including the microbiome, cell migration/invasion, cell signaling, angiogenesis and immunology; and are highly collaborative, generating new ideas and fresh angles to treat cancer. 

– Linda Bradley, Ph.D., Program Director



The role of Tks adaptor proteins in invadopodia formation, growth and metastasis of melanoma.

Iizuka S, Abdullah C, Buschman MD, Diaz B, Courtneidge SA

Oncotarget 2016 Nov 29 ;7(48):78473-78486

The PI3K pathway in B cell metabolism.

Jellusova J, Rickert RC

Crit Rev Biochem Mol Biol 2016 Sep ;51(5):359-378

Frizzled proteins are colonic epithelial receptors for C. difficile toxin B.

Tao L, Zhang J, Meraner P, Tovaglieri A, Wu X, Gerhard R, Zhang X, Stallcup WB, Miao J, He X, Hurdle JG, Breault DT, Brass AL, Dong M

Nature 2016 Oct 20 ;538(7625):350-355

Tumor vasculature-targeted 10B delivery by an Annexin A1-binding peptide boosts effects of boron neutron capture therapy.

Yoneyama T, Hatakeyama S, Sutoh-Yoneyama M, Yoshiya T, Uemura T, Ishizu T, Suzuki M, Hachinohe S, Ishiyama S, Nonaka M, Fukuda MN, Ohyama C

BMC Cancer 2021 Jan 15 ;21(1):72

FBXO44 promotes DNA replication-coupled repetitive element silencing in cancer cells.

Shen JZ, Qiu Z, Wu Q, Finlay D, Garcia G, Sun D, Rantala J, Barshop W, Hope JL, Gimple RC, Sangfelt O, Bradley LM, Wohlschlegel J, Rich JN, Spruck C

Cell 2020 Dec 18 ;

Cyclin D3 Governs Clonal Expansion of Dark Zone Germinal Center B Cells.

Ramezani-Rad P, Chen C, Zhu Z, Rickert RC

Cell Rep 2020 Nov 17 ;33(7):108403

High Endothelial Venules Accelerate Naive T-Cell Recruitment by Tumor Necrosis Factor-α-Mediated R-Ras Up-Regulation.

Sawada J, Perrot CY, Chen L, Fournier-Goss AE, Oyer J, Copik A, Komatsu M

Am J Pathol 2020 Nov 4 ;

B Vitamins and Their Role in Immune Regulation and Cancer.

Peterson CT, Rodionov DA, Osterman AL, Peterson SN

Nutrients 2020 Nov 4 ;12(11)

Functional Precision Medicine Identifies New Therapeutic Candidates for Medulloblastoma.

Rusert JM, Juarez EF, Brabetz S, Jensen J, Garancher A, Chau LQ, Tacheva-Grigorova SK, Wahab S, Udaka YT, Finlay D, Seker-Cin H, Reardon B, Gröbner S, Serrano J, Ecker J, Qi L, Kogiso M, Du Y, Baxter PA, Henderson JJ, Berens ME, Vuori K, Milde T, Cho YJ, Li XN, Olson JM, Reyes I, Snuderl M, Wong TC, Dimmock DP, Nahas SA, Malicki D, Crawford JR, Levy ML, Van Allen EM, Pfister SM, Tamayo P, Kool M, Mesirov JP, Wechsler-Reya RJ

Cancer Res 2020 Dec 1 ;80(23):5393-5407

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