Research on metastasis formation
The German Research Foundation (DFG) has approved another new Collaborative Research Center/Transregio (SFB/TRR) at FAU, which also involves scientists from the Department of Biology. The goal of SFB/TRR 305 “Striking a moving target: From mechanisms of metastatic organ colonisation to novel systemic therapies” is to understand the molecular mechanisms of metastasis development and, on this basis, to create new therapeutic approaches against cancer metastases. The Chair of Genetics of Prof. Dr. Falk Nimmerjahn is involved in the SFB with a subproject. The TRR 305 research network will be funded for four years with almost 12 million euros.
The aim of Prof. Nimmerjahn’s subproject is to investigate the tumor metastasis-promoting or -inhibiting function of so-called tumor-associated macrophages (TAM). TAM often do not recognize a tumor as a threat, but rather as a developing organ, which is why these macrophages support the development of tumor metastases in various tissues, for example by connecting to the vascular system. By better understanding the molecular checkpoints that control tumor-promoting and inhibitory effects of TAM, the researchers aim to reprogram these immune cells in the tumor to become anti-tumor effector cells.