MICROENVIRONMENT AND INFLAMMATION
Microenvironment and Inflammation
Several research units focus on the definition of the molecular determinants regulating the interaction of tumor cells with the immune and mesenchymal elements that together form the functional tumor microenvironment.
A core project grouping several Units aims at the identification of new molecules that may have diagnostic and prognostic value on cancer onset and/or recurrence. Many stroma cell components are recruited at the tumor site from the bone marrow likely in response to signals, such as miRNas and other soluble factors, generated by the tumor-stroma cross-comunication. We foresee that such signaling molecules can be detected in blood and may represent potential biomarkers of early transformation. In such a context, detection of circulating miRNAs predictive of incipient lung cancer earlier than spiral CT, or linked to existing precancerous lesions in subjects with increased risk of colorectal cancer, indicate that the approach is consistent with the hypothesis.