Tumors are complex systems of heterogeneous cancer and non-cancer cells, the last known as tumor stroma or microenvironment. The immune system is a dynamic component of the tumor microenvironment. Immune cells continuously survey and eliminate malignant cells, until stochastic genetic events and epigenetic changes enable the fittest cancer cells to escape anti-tumor immunity and survive.  The clinical success of immune checkpoint blockade in several types of cancers provided proof of principle that immune responses can be manipulated to induce long-lasting regression in tumor growth. 

Our team studies mechanisms of tumor tolerance, focusing on the discovery of novel molecules that can be targeted in cancer patients. The laboratory has a strong clinical background and works simultaneously with the mouse and human system.   

The specific aims of our lab are: 

• elucidate the cellular and molecular mechanisms that regulate adaptive immune responses against cancer-specific antigens 

• develop cancer drugs that target novel immunosuppressive molecules 

• conduct pre-clinical studies to test the efficacy of immunotherapeutics

To achieve our goals, we utilize in vivo mice models of onco-immunology, including patient-derived tumor xenografts in humanized mice, sophisticated functional immunological assays with murine and patient-derived cells (suppressive assays, cytotoxicity assays, adoptive cell transfers) and high throughput profiling of primary cells (next-generation sequencing technologies).

B.S.R.C. "Alexander Fleming"
34 Fleming Street, 16672 Vari, Greece
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