The impact of tumour vasculature on the immunogenicity of ferroptosis in tumour spheroids.

01 November 2020 → Ongoing
Research Foundation - Flanders (FWO)
Research disciplines
  • Medical and health sciences
    • Cancer therapy
    • Immunomodulation therapy
    • Tissue engineering
    • Cell death
    • Cell therapy
Tumour spheroids Immunogenic cell death Ferroptosis
Project description

Cell-based immunotherapies hold great promise for the future treatment of cancer. The successes of these therapies, with some patients showing durable and complete remission, demonstrate the power of harnessing the immune system to eradicate tumours. The type of cancer cell death also determines the anti-tumour immune response and, thereby, contributes to the efficiency of anti-cancer therapy and long-term survival of patients. Since tumours often develop resistance to apoptosis and necroptosis, triggering these processes is not always the optimal strategy. Another cause for the failure of anti-cancer therapies is the pre-clinical research where 2D cultures are often used. It is known that cancer spheroids are more accurate in representing the tumour microenvironment. Tumour vasculature is an important component of the tumour microenvironment, which can affect the outcome of anti-cancer therapy. My preliminary data indicate that ferroptotic cells are immunogenic in 2D models. The aim of this project is to fully understand the immune-modulatory role of ferroptosis in spheroids and to determine the influence of endothelial cells and vascularization on the immunogenicity of ferroptotic cancer cells. Both in vitro and in vivo experiments will be performed with different tumour models to keep heterogeneity of tumours into account. This project will allow gaining detailed insights into the immunological properties of ferroptosis and this new approach could save lives.