- LOEWE-Schwerpunkt iCANx: Cancer – Lung (Disease) Crosstalk: Tumor and Organ Microenvironment
As the second leading cause of death worldwide, cancer is a global health problem. The occurrence of primary and secondary (metastases) lung tumors reduces the quality and expectation of life of patients significantly. Progression and lethality of lung tumors are critically determined by the interaction of tumor cells with the surrounding microenvironment. It is largely unknown how tumors adapt to the organ microenvironment and reprogram their environment for successful metastasis to the lung. Hence, the goal of iCANx is to elucidate mechanisms that allow tumor cells to colonize the lung in a bidirectional crosstalk with the organ microenvironment. Furthermore, we investigate how lung tumor-associated diseases such as COPD, pulmonary hypertension and fibrosis influence this. The deeper understanding of the complex interactions of primary and secondary lung tumors with the lung microenvironment promises, in addition to fundamental insights into the molecular mechanisms of tumor-organ adaptation, innovative therapeutic and curative approaches that target the organ- and tumor-specific microenvironment, e.g. to prevent metastatic colonization of the lung.