EurekAlert! reports that research at Huntsman Cancer Institute (HCI) at the University of Utah (U of U) yielded new insights into the environment surrounding different types of lung tumors, and described how these complex cell ecosystems may in turn ultimately affect response to treatment. The results were published today in Immunity and featured on the print cover of the journal. Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death among men and women. According to the American Cancer Society, the disease kills more people each year than colon, breast, and prostate cancers combined. Therefore, uncovering the precursors and behaviors of lung cancer remains a major target among scientists working to improve cancer outcomes.
Cells live in complex, distinct communities that scientists refer to as microenvironments. These microenvironments have many features that impact how a cell grows, how it behaves, and how it communicates with other nearby cells. In the case of cancer, researchers work to understand the microenvironment of a tumor to try to identify opportunities for possible therapeutic approaches.
Trudy Oliver, PhD