Department: Cell Research and Immunology
Faculty: Life Sciences
Tel Aviv University

Prof. Ben-Baruch Adit

Breast cancer is a leading cause of death for women in the Western world. The battle against breast cancer has been challenged by the fact that, generally, each component is studied meticulously, but singly. Too little attention is paid to the interactions between the tumor cells and their intimate microenvironment, consisting of various cells and soluble factors. Such cross-talks often promote breast cancer development and aggravate disease course; thus, identifying such interactions is crucial for the design of improved therapeutic modalities that are the most effective for the treatment of each individual patient, and thus are “custom-tailored”.

The aim of our studies is to provide better and personalized therapeutic modalities in breast cancer. Our approach is based on understanding the way the inflammatory/immune microenvironment affects pro-malignancy functions in breast tumor cells and its impact on tumor-stroma interactions.
Research projects
Can we use inflammatory chemokines and immune molecules for drug design in breast cancer?

When pathogenic threats are encountered by the host, inflammatory chemokines induce leukocyte migration to inflamed tissues, leading to pathogen clearance and tissue repair. However, the activities of inflammatory chemokines are not limited to the immune context and many of them promote breast cancer progression. In parallel, tumor-driven impairment of acquired immune activities prevents processes of immune surveillance from taking place.

In this study we determine the therapeutic potential in breast cancer of chemokine variants and modifiers of immune activities. This project integrates basic and therapeutic methodologies that would identify chemokine and immune targets in breast cancer therapy.

How does the inflammatory microenvironment impact tumor-promoting stroma cells?

Throughout the progressive process of malignancy, breast tumor cells interact with different stroma cells that acquire pro-cancerous functions. In this study we decipher the impacts of the inflammatory tumor microenvironment on stroma cells and identify the mechanisms through which inflammatory processes up-regulate arrays of tumor-promoting functions in tumor-adjacent host cells.

So far, our studies have provided important information on the roles of inflammation and immunity in malignancy in general and in breast cancer in particular. We were among the first to describe the pivotal contribution of inflammatory chemokines to breast cancer development and progression. By identifying the regulatory inflammation/immune-based networks, we will be able to propose novel therapeutics based on simultaneous targeting of several molecules, in a manner tailored to each patient.

Sign up for
our events

    Life Science