Aberrant Immune Signals in Cancer

The immune system plays pivotal roles in cancer pathogenesis. Although immune cells are in principle capable of recognizing and destroying malignant cells, deviated immune signals can also directly promote initiation and development of cancer by creating tumor promoting inflammatory environments, and by suppressing natural antitumor immune responses. Furthermore, immune cells themselves can be targets of malignant transformation, and human lymphomas and leukemias are frequently driven by mutations influencing immune receptor signaling pathways.

The Collaborative Research Center (CRC) 1335 investigates how these aberrant immune signals drive and support cancer. To this end, we have brought together an interdisciplinary consortium of basic and clinician scientists to study models and primary material of selected hematopoietic, gastrointestinal, and skin cancers. We envision that this CRC will make fundamental contributions to a comprehensive understanding of the corrupted immune pathways that support cancer, and that these results will ultimately pave the way for the development of novel strategies that target aberrant immune signals for cancer therapy.