E20: A Tumor's Lair
Exploring the tumor microenvironment. How science is shedding light on a tumor's habitat and finding potential new therapeutic pathways in the process.
Tumors are good at making themselves at home. Once they start growing, they quickly establish themselves by secreting helper proteins, turning native cells against each other, and creating an extracellular matrix to support their development. Their creation is called the tumor microenvironment (TME), and it is the key to cancer’s survival.
Better understanding of the TME has led to several potential new therapeutic pathways for solid tumors. The TME is intrinsically linked to immunotherapy, or drugs to help the body’s natural immune system fight back against tumors. The more we know about the house that tumors build for themselves, the better equipped we are to infiltrate their lair.
For this episode, I spoke with Rhiannon Jenkinson, Director of Science for Discovery Services at Charles River’s Portishead site. She has studied the TME, and was kind enough to explain this fascinating and frustrating microworld to us. Listen now to learn more about the TME.