Tumors are sophisticated communities of cells–cancerous and otherwise–that function together to sustain and propagate malignancy. Studying the aberrations and adaptations of cancer cells often requires the integration of multiple subspecialties of cancer research. Many Ludwig researchers do just that to capture the subtleties of tumor growth, survival, metastasis and resistance to therapy. They chart the signaling networks within cells that alter their growth, and the metabolic adaptations that sustain proliferation. They analyze the genomic and subcellular processes that turn a settled cell into a metastatic one, and the biochemical changes that help cancer cells thrive in the harsh, oxygen and nutrient-poor recesses if the tumor. These and a host of other studies are often blended to paint an increasingly nuanced picture of cancer biology, one that is of immeasurable value to the design of new diagnostics and therapies.
Ludwig Harvard investigator Rakesh Jain discusses how the abnormal tumor vessels and matrix create a hostile microenvironment that fuels tumor progression and confers resistance to conventional and emerging cancer treatments.
Sam Gambhir, the Virginia and D. K. Ludwig Professor of Cancer Research at Stanford University School of Medicine, gives an overview of molecular imaging technologies and how they are being utilized to monitor immunotherapies in living subjects.
George Demetri discusses the next generation of pathway-targeting therapies being tested against many cancer types and how clinical trials can be designed to optimize collaboration between lab-based researchers and clinical scientists, generating new insights into cancer sensitivity and resistance to therapy.
Ludwig Scientific Director Chi Van Dang has worked to unravel how the oncogene MYC links the aberrant metabolism of cancer cells to their unchecked proliferation.
Peter Ratcliffe outlines the HIF hydroxylase pathway, discusses its evolution and considers its operation in health and disease.
Ludwig’s Robert Weinberg discusses his laboratory’s extensive investigation of a complex cell-biological program known as the epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT). In carcinomas, EMT results in the acquisition of multiple traits associated with high-grade malignancies.
Ludwig Oxford’s Sebastian Nijman discusses his development of isogenic—or genetically uniform—cell lines to study how drugs interact with the variegated genetic landscape of malignant tumors, and their application to analyze drug resistance and identify surprising candidate drug targets major cancers.
Benoît Van den Eynde tells the story of this discovery and its subsequent translation to develop a pair of candidate immunotherapies, one of which will soon enter clinical trials in partnership with Pfizer.
Web Cavenee (a cancer geneticist), Frank Furnari (a cancer biologist) and Paul Mischel (a cancer pathologist) of Ludwig San Diego describe their joint investigation of glioblastoma over the past several years.