Deciphering the heterogeneity of cancer-associated fibroblast populations in colorectal cancer


23rd February
Léon Fredericq Auditorium
GIGA B34 +5


Over the past years, cancer research has moved from a tumor-centric view towards a more holistic view of cancer, which recognizes the importance of the tumor microenvironment (TME) in tumor growth and progression. Among the cells of the TME, cancer-associated fibroblasts (CAFs) have risen to increased prominence as one of the key factors driving tumor development. Due to their heterogeneity, which is linked to different gene expression profiles and cellular functions, it is of vital importance to understand the precise mechanisms through which CAFs develop and maintain pro-tumorigenic phenotypes in patients. Using a combination of patient-derived single cell RNA-sequencing and bulk transcriptome dataset analyses, together with novel 3D organotypic co-culture cell assays and relevant in CRC in vivo models, we identified CAF subtypes that are linked to tumor growth and immune suppression. The therapeutic importance of targeting pro-tumorigenic fibroblasts in CRC will be discussed during this seminar.


Assistant Professor Elisabeth Letellier is co-heading the Molecular Disease Mechanisms (MDM) group at the Department of Life Sciences and Medicine (DLSM) at the Universty of Luxembourg. She performed her PhD thesis in Molecular Biology at the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) in Heidelberg, Germany, followed by a PostDoc in collaboration with a company, ApoGenix. In 2009, she joined the UL. After a PostDoc in the Cell Signalling group at DLSM, she became an independent investigator in the MDM group which she is co-heading since 2020. Her current research activities mainly aim at understanding the mechanisms underlying tumor initiation and progression in colorectal cancer, with a special focus on the role of the tumor microenvironment in cancer.


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