Dr Jacqui Shields
MRC Cancer Unit, University of Cambridge, UK
Title: Beyond the cancer cell: Exploring the tumour stroma as immune modulators
Summary: Current immunotherapy approaches show great promise but are effective in just a few cancer types.
Therefore, a clear knowledge deficit exists in our understanding of anti-tumour immunity and the suppressive networks at play during the different stages of malignant transition.
Surveillance by the immune system has been implicated as a major barrier to the progression of early cancers, however, tumours have developed strategies to interfere with almost every step necessary for an effective anti-tumour immune response.
“Normal” cells termed the stroma in surrounding tissue – including fibroblasts, endothelial cells, pericytes and immune cells – form a tumour microenvironment that co-evolves with cancer from its earliest stages to shape progression, and mounting evidence indicates that components of the stroma support immune suppression to promote carcinogenesis via mechanisms that remain poorly understood.
We have demonstrated that the fibroblast compartment of stroma is a key modulator of both the innate and adaptive arms of the anti-tumour immune response at local and systemic levels; directly inducing antigen-specific antigen-dependent deletion of tumour-reactive T cells and stimulating the recruitment of neutrophils to drive formation of neutrophil extracellular traps in an amyloid beta-depndent manner.
Using single cell RNA sequencing we have been able to show that cancer-associated fibroblasts (CAF) and accompanying immune cells adapt to meet the changing requirement of a tumour showing the existence of temporally distinct CAF populations displaying distinct functional signatures to indicate that even from early stages of carcinogenesis, cancer associated fibroblasts possess the capacity to drive the tumour immune landscape towards a suppressive phenotype
In summary, we have described both direct and indirect mechanisms by which the tumour stroma can help shape the development of an immune dysfunctional environment that ultimately supports tumour growth.
We have a number of membership categories available. Find out which membership suits you.
Due to COVID restrictions we have yet to confirm the dates for 57th Annual Conference.
Please check back here later in 2020 to check for updates.
IACR Public Engagement
Would you like to know more about how we involve patients in research, our fundraising, and lay seminars?
The Irish Association for Cancer Research will support a limited number of Educational Grants that will be made available to postgraduate PhD researchers who have been affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. We acknowledge that many of our members have been significantly impacted by the recent pandemic that may have affected their ability to continue and/or complete research projects.
for Cancer Research
9A Coolkill, Sandyford
Dublin 18, Ireland
+353 (0)295 8859
Irish Association for Cancer Research (IACR) is a registered charity on the Register of Charitable Organisations, Charities Regulator, 3 George's Dock, IFSC, Dublin 1, D01 X5X0, Ireland.
Registered Charity Number (RCN): 20030117.
©Design by LetterEleven