Studies of tumor cell stress adaptation for the identification of new treatment targets
Stress factors provide a strong selection pressure that is associated with treatment resistance and decreased patient survival. Recent findings by our group indicate a novel role of lipoproteins and exosomes in cellular adaptation to the harsh tumor microenvironment.
We will pursue original ideas of how malignant cells respond to and cope with stress factors with the goal to develop new treatment concepts in the fight against cancer. Our studies are focused on but not limited to glioblastoma (GBM), i.e. primary brain tumors characterized by a chaotic microenvironment and associated treatment resistance. We have recently made significant contributions to the fundamental understanding of GBM biology, and the group leader is consultant at the neuro-oncology unit in Lund. With the recent establishment of the Brain Tumor Research Group at LU, which is a multidisciplinary initiative including neurosurgeons, pathologists, and radiologists, and collaboration with the neuro-oncology group at UU, we will have access to unique tissue specimens, primary cells and plasma samples from GBM patients. Our concept, taking advantage of specific microenvironmental characteristics for the identification of cancer cell specific targets, has the potential to provide more rational treatments of GBM and other types of aggressive malignancies.
The focus of the current PhD program is:
- To explore lipoprotein particles and exosome extracellular vesicles (EVs) as new treatment targets to impede cancer cell adaptation to microenvironmental stress.
- To apply a newly developed method for functional mapping of the cancer cell-surface proteome (Bourseau-Guilmain, et al., Nature Comm., 2016) for the identification and targeting of tumor antigens of the treatment-resistant tumor niche.