Vicente A. Resto, MD, PhD, FACS

Patients with solid tumors metastatic to regional lymph nodes experience 50% decreased survival even when matching for primary tumor size, the absence of distant metastases, and treatment. The molecular mechanisms underlying this ominous association remain unknown. We hypothesize that tumor cells that have metastasized to lymph nodes mediate interactions with lymph node constituent elements in ways that drive tumor tolerance by the immune system. Our work seeks to understand the dynamic tumor cell/lymph node interactions that drive such an effect with particular focus on adhesion receptors as mediators of immune effector cell anergy as well as potential targets epitopes for vaccine approaches.

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