Advancing the discovery of molecular events, in the origins and spread of cancer, and their application to treatment and diagnosis.
Long before cancer is evident in the body, the first problems appear as changes in the molecules of a few cells. Whether these changes are quelled by normal cellular control systems or proceed to cancer depends on a complex web of interactions among molecules. When the cancer ultimately proceeds, new interactions between the cancer cell and the tumor environment can sustain further growth. The Cancer Signaling Networks Program aims to elucidate the molecular events that lead to cellular transformation, oncogenesis, and cooption of the tumor environment, such as increased angiogenesis and inflammation. Our understanding of such basic mechanisms of transformation and growth within this microenvironment can be applied to issues of cancer prevention and treatment.
The members of the Cancer Signaling Networks Program explore different types of signaling molecules, and their role in oncogenic transformation, deregulation of cell division, and cancer cell interaction with surrounding tissues.
The program members come from nine basic-science departments and six clinical departments, and their research is focused under four major themes: