Our research is focused on elucidating the molecular events involved in the formation and progression of malignant tumors, and on the development of novel strategies for targeted therapy of cancer. We use advanced experimental models in conjunction with clinical intervention studies to investigate the role of stress-related phenomena of the tumor microenvironment, such as hypoxia and coagulation activation, as biomarkers and treatment targets of cancer. Clinical studies will determine the effect of coagulation inhibition on the survival of cancer patients, and aim at the identification of predictive biomarkers of thrombotic events.
Stress-induced signaling select for tumor cells that successfully adapt to the hostile tumor microenvironment, further resulting in resistance to conventional cancer therapies. Importantly, such mechanisms also represent potential Achilles’ heels of the cancer cell machinery. We have provided novel insights into the role of cancer cell exosomes in hypoxia-driven tumor development (Svensson, K, et al., PNAS, 2011; Kucharzewska, P, et al. PNAS, 2013). We have discovered an important role of heparan sulfate proteoglycan (HSPG) and endocytosis in exosome transfer (Christanson, H, et al. PNAS, 2013; Svensson, K, et al. JBC, 2013). Based on previous findings we will explore the hypothesis that exosomes and microvesicles promote tumor aggressiveness and constitute novel therapeutic targets and non-invasive biomarkers of cancer.
Professor of Oncology, Senior Consultant of Oncology