Tumor Microenvironment and Metastasis

The Tumor Microenvironment and Metastasis program addresses basic questions about how the cells that surround a tumor play a role in its development, growth and spread, and to try to develop new means of attacking the cancer and preventing its spread by harnessing and repurposing the microenvironment that supports it.

Virtually all the human genes have been identified, and researchers have been studying how modifications or dysregulation of these genes in the tumor explain the biological features of cancer. More recently, scientists have begun to think about how the components of the tumor and other non-tumor cells and factors in our bodies influence the cancer cell. This is the study of the microenvironment: the normal cells and molecules that surround a tumor cell. Communication between tumor cells and the microenvironment helps drive the process of tumor progression.

Understanding the tumor microenvironment holds great therapeutic potential. Researchers have had success in slowing the rate of cancer growth with targeted therapies, and Wistar investigators are advancing the basic science behind this approach.


Ashani Weeraratna, Ph.D., Program Leader
Andrew J. Caton, Ph.D.
Qing Chen, M.D., Ph.D.
Jan Erikson, Ph.D. 
Dmitry I. Gabrilovich, M.D., Ph.D.
Qihong Huang, M.D., Ph.D.
Luis J. Montaner, D.V.M., D.Phil. 
Yulia Nefedova, M.D., Ph.D.  
Frank J. Rauscher, III, Ph.D.