A tumor is a dysregulated, ever-evolving and growing ecosystem of cells. Although researchers have historically focused on its constituent cancer cells, it has become clear in recent years that most tumors also depend on a supporting cast of noncancerous cells for their nourishment, growth and survival. These include cells that help establish a blood supply and provide various forms of biochemical support as well as immune cells that suppress anti-tumor immune responses. Several Ludwig researchers are exploring how cells of the tumor microenvironment support malignant growth, with the aim of targeting such dependencies for cancer therapy. These efforts include Ludwig’s Tumor Atlas Project, a collaboration between five Ludwig-affiliated labs that’s using newly developed microscopy, genetic, and computational tools to “see” and determine precisely how tumor and immune cells interact in the tumor microenvironment, and how those interactions influence responsiveness to therapy.
The Ludwig Tumor Atlas applies diverse technologies to probe the tumor environment. This webinar presents two projects from the Ludwig Centers at Harvard and MIT that are part of the collaborative program.
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.
Ludwig Lausanne’s Johanna Joyce introduces the general features of the tumor microenvironment; discusses critical functions of tumor-promoting myeloid cells in regulating cancer progression, metastasis and therapeutic resistance; and outlines current strategies for therapeutic targeting.
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.
Ludwig Oxford’s Peter Ratcliffe outlines the HIF hydroxylase pathway, discusses its evolution and considers its operation in health and disease.