Our research focuses on the understanding of mechanisms that drive progression of skin cancer. We are particularly interested in cancer cell plasticity and associated rearrangement of the tumor microenvironment involved in spontaneous and/or therapy-induced progression of keratinocytic carcinomas.
keratinocytic carcinomas, plasticity, tumor microenvironment, resistance to therapy
Our research focuses on how tumor-stroma interactions drive skin cancer progression.
In infiltrative basal cell carcinoma (BCC), we identified TGFβ-induced reprogramming of cancer-associated fibroblasts (CAFs), driving cancer cell migration through expression of Fibronectin. Consistently, we showed that FAK inhibitors disrupt cancer cell-CAF interactions and efficiently reverse infiltrative progression in BCC. More recently, using a combined computational approach, we deciphered with unprecedented resolution the cellular and molecular governors of the invasive niche, in particular Activin A-mediated, reciprocal transcriptional reprogramming in cancer cells and surrounding CAFs. We further found that matrix-remodeling CAF trigger immunosuppressive polarization of tumor-associated macrophages and mediate resistance to immunotherapy in various skin cancers.
With this and other research projects, we contribute to SKINTEGRITY.CH with the aim to improve the mechanistic understanding of skin cancer progression as well as its treatment in the clinic.
SKINTEGRITY.CH Principal Investigators are in bold:
* Corresponding author