Cold Spring Harbor
The Egeblad lab studies the importance of the myeloid cells using mouse models of breast and pancreatic cancer and real-time imaging of cells in tumors in live mice. This enables them to follow the behaviors of and the interactions between cancer and myeloid cells in tumors during progression or treatment. This technique was instrumental when the lab recently showed that cancer drug therapy can be boosted by altering components of the tumor microenvironments, specifically reducing either matrix metalloproteinases (enzymes secreted by myeloid cells) or chemokine receptors (signal receptors on myeloid cells). This year, the Egeblad lab collaborated with Scott Powers’ group to understand how normal cells surrounding a tumor promote cancer growth. They found that normal cells signal to tumors through multiple pathways, and blocking these signals together has the greatest effect on inhibiting tumor growth—offering a new strategy to fight cancer.