In chronic inflammatory conditions like cancer, healthy macrophages can become corrupted and end up helping tumors. However, we don’t know what factors cause these behaviors, so Dr. Franklin is exposing macrophages to six different stresses―including heat shock and oxygen deprivation―to see how they respond and identify factors that play a role in macrophage recruitment by tumors. Already, she’s found one protein associated with inflammation that appears to be a promising target. She’s now examining the role of this protein in animal models as well as looking for other targets that could potentially improve immunotherapy’s effectiveness.
I am grateful that the Cancer Research Institute appreciates the value of basic scientific research and funds projects to address mechanistic questions. Armed with this deeper knowledge of the immune system, we can uncover novel immunotherapeutic targets for the treatment of cancer.
Projects and Grants
The role of macrophages in tissue homeostasis and tumor progression
Yale University | All Cancers | 2015 | Ruslan M. Medzhitov, Ph.D.
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