A growing tumour is composed not only of cancer cells but also contains stromal cells (fibroblasts, endothelial cells and immune cells) and extracellular matrix components that are collectively referred to as the “Tumour Microenvironment”.

The tumour microenvironment has important effects on how tumor cells initiate and grow and can influence how “aggressive” or metastatic cancer cells become. We are now learning that the tumour microenvironment can affect how cancer cells respond to current treatments and can play a major role in the development of therapeutic resistance. 

The goal of researchers at the Goodman Cancer Research Centre is to understand how the tumour microenvironment changes how cancer cells grow and metastasize and how we can exploit this knowledge to devise strategies to target the tumour microenvironment to improve cancer treatments.

Team Leader: Dr. Morag Park