The Tumor Microenvironment and Metastasis (TMM) Program was launched in 2012 to bring together a multidisciplinary team of cutting-edge immunologists and cancer biologists under a synergistic and collaborative scientific umbrella. This initiative provides for the natural evolution of the former Immunology Program that was dissolved at the end of 2011 as part of the strategic reorganization of the Cancer Center. The TMM Program comprises ten investigators with experimental interests aligned along three major flagship themes: Immunoregulation ofthe tumor microenvironment (i);Pathophysiology of metastasis (ii);and Bi-directional interaction between tumor and non-cancerous cells and their products (iii). The overarching goal of the TMM Program is to merge basic mechanistic understanding of multidisciplinary pathways of host-tumor interactions and metastatic dissemination with novel translational opportunities for disease diagnosis and (immuno)therapy. Despite the Program's recent inception, its integrated research platform has produced successful faculty recruitment, opened new opportunities for graduate education in cancer biology, considerably enhanced cancer focus, and developed extensive inter-programmatic and collaborative advances in the biology of metastasis, host-tumor cell crosstalk and immune modulation of tumor onset and progression. In terms of disease-relevance, TMM Program members are leading the development of a newly launched Ovarian Cancer Research Continuum Signature, a disease site-specific inter-programmatic initiative designed to merge basic, translational and patient oriented cancer research in a single scientific continuum. As of 2013, the TMM Program is expected to leverage a strong NCI funding base of $2.3 million, a total cancer-related peer-reviewed funding of $3.4 million (all direct costs), and currently lists 83 cancer-relevant publications, of which 29% are intra- and inter-programmatic collaborations, and 89% are inter-institutional collaborations. Building on these accomplishments, the TMM Program is on a steep, upward trajectory of research impact, scientific collaboration, and translational opportunities that leverage successful inter-institutional outreach partnerships as well as technological advances in key Shared Resources. During the next budget period, the TMM Program is ideally poised to significantly contribute to the Cancer Center's overarching mission in the continuum of cancer research by expanding scientific themes in the areas of metastatic competency and translational tumor immunology.

Public Health Relevance

The ability of tumor cells to thrive in vivo largely depends on the exploitation of cells and tissues that surround them, referred to as the microenvironment. Understanding how this immunosuppressive, proangiogenic, and pro-metastatic microenvironment is orchestrated to drive malignant progression may open new therapeutic prospects for patients with advanced and disseminated disease.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Cancer Institute (NCI)
Center Core Grants (P30)
Project #
Application #
Study Section
Subcommittee G - Education (NCI)
Project Start
Project End
Budget Start
Budget End
Support Year
Fiscal Year
Total Cost
Indirect Cost
Wistar Institute
United States
Zip Code
Qin, Jie; Rajaratnam, Rajathees; Feng, Li et al. (2015) Development of organometallic S6K1 inhibitors. J Med Chem 58:305-14
Tomescu, Costin; Seaton, Kelly E; Smith, Peter et al. (2015) Innate activation of MDC and NK cells in high-risk HIV-1-exposed seronegative IV-drug users who share needles when compared with low-risk nonsharing IV-drug user controls. J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr 68:264-73
Gekonge, Bethsebah; Bardin, Matthew C; Montaner, Luis J (2015) Short communication: Nitazoxanide inhibits HIV viral replication in monocyte-derived macrophages. AIDS Res Hum Retroviruses 31:237-41
Webster, Marie R; Xu, Mai; Kinzler, Kathryn A et al. (2015) Wnt5A promotes an adaptive, senescent-like stress response, while continuing to drive invasion in melanoma cells. Pigment Cell Melanoma Res 28:184-95
Zhang, Xuhui; Akech, Jacqueline; Browne, Gillian et al. (2015) Runx2-Smad signaling impacts the progression of tumor-induced bone disease. Int J Cancer 136:1321-32
Kung, Che-Pei; Khaku, Sakina; Jennis, Matthew et al. (2015) Identification of TRIML2, a novel p53 target, that enhances p53 SUMOylation and regulates the transactivation of proapoptotic genes. Mol Cancer Res 13:250-62
Wolf, Amaya I; Strauman, Maura C; Mozdzanowska, Krystyna et al. (2014) Pneumolysin expression by streptococcus pneumoniae protects colonized mice from influenza virus-induced disease. Virology 462-463:254-65
Gumireddy, Kiranmai; Li, Anping; Kossenkov, Andrew V et al. (2014) ID1 promotes breast cancer metastasis by S100A9 regulation. Mol Cancer Res 12:1334-43
Budina-Kolomets, Anna; Balaburski, Gregor M; Bondar, Anastasia et al. (2014) Comparison of the activity of three different HSP70 inhibitors on apoptosis, cell cycle arrest, autophagy inhibition, and HSP90 inhibition. Cancer Biol Ther 15:194-9
Newhart, Alyshia; Janicki, Susan M (2014) Seeing is believing: visualizing transcriptional dynamics in single cells. J Cell Physiol 229:259-65

Showing the most recent 10 out of 182 publications