The Cytoskeleton and Cancer Progression (CCP) research group explores the role of the actin cytoskeleton of tumour cells in two processes that critically promote cancer progression: metastatic spreading and resistance to the immune system,with theultimate goal of translating its discoveries into clinical applications that benefit patients.
Cancer immune evasion is a major obstacle to effective anticancer immunotherapies and a better understanding of the underlying mechanisms is urgently needed. Using high resolution and quantitative cell imaging approaches, we recently established the pivotal role of the actin cytoskeleton in tumour cell resistance against cytotoxic immune effector cells. Our investigations at the tumour cell side of the immunological synapse (the cell-to-cell contact between cytotoxic lymphocytes cells and tumour cells) open new avenues for the development of innovative therapeutic approaches aimed at restoring an effective antitumor immune response in patients.
The actin cytoskeleton at the tumour cell side of the immunological synapse. In a series of complementary projects, we explore the mechanisms by which fast polarisation of the actin cytoskeleton of tumour cells to the immunological synapse provides direct resistance against cytotoxic lymphocytes and promotes tumour immune evasion in vivo.
The invadopodial actin cytoskeleton as a potential target to block cancer invasion and metastasis. In this project, we focus on a family of actin regulatory proteins coordinating the formation of invasive membrane protrusions (also termed invadopodia) and the upregulation of proteases involved in extracellular matrix degradation.
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