Macrophages present a central line of defense against cancer by preventing inflammation and eliminating tumor cells. However, tumor-associated-macrophages (TAMs) at times protect the tumor from immune responses and facilitate its growth. Elevated levels of TAMs are commonly associated with poor outcomes, and depleting them can prevent cancer progression and metastasis. However, the signals mediating these opposing macrophage identities are unknown. Dr. Duttke aims to figure out what makes TAMs different from normal, anti-cancer macrophages by analyzing macrophages/TAMs in tumors and healthy patient tissues. Understanding the pathways linked to TAM identity may single out targets for therapies aiming to suppress TAMs and aid tumor elimination.
University of California, San Diego | All Cancers, Lung Cancer | 2015 | Christopher K. Glass, M.D., Ph.D.
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