Brain metastasis is a devastating complication that frequently occurs in breast cancer patients, especially those with HER2+ breast cancer. Although current therapies are somewhat effective against localized breast cancer, they become ineffective once the disease has metastasized to the brain. Therefore, Dr. Lin Tian aims to improve our understanding of this process in order to pave the way for the development of therapeutic interventions to prevent disease progression.
Specifically, he aims to investigate the functional significance of the extracellular matrix components in supporting HER2+ tumor growth in the brain. Given the unique composition of the brain microenvironment and the numerous immune cell types poised to quickly respond and eliminate foreign threats, he plans to dissect whether cancer-cell derived ECM components can impose immune suppressive functions, aiding in metastatic outbreak. Collectively, Tian’s work will not only decipher the precise molecular mechanisms leveraged by HER2+ cancer cells to colonize in brain, but may also shed light on promising immunotherapy against brain metastases from HER2+ breast cancer.
Projects and Grants
Dissecting Extracellular Matrix-mediated Immune Evasion of HER2+ Breast Cancer Brain Metastasis
Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center | Breast Cancer | 2019 | Joan Massagué, Ph.D.
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