Lymph nodes are sites where immune responses are robustly initiated. Paradoxically, they are also very common metastatic sites, where tumour progression is well-tolerated. Robust evidence defines a role for fibroblastic reticular cells (FRCs) in preventing T cells from acquiring effector functions within lymph nodes, and deleting T cells that show self-reactivity. FIBROCAN will test the hypothesis that FRCs systematically shut down anti-tumour T cell responses, testing mechanisms of suppression in vitro and in vivo, and charting tumour antigen presentation by FRCs to T cells for the first time.
At the frontier of stromal immunology and cancer biology, FIBROCAN was been designed to inform our fundamental understanding of metastatic cancer progression, particularly relevant to the implementation and design of T cell immunotherapies. This project provides the opportunity for a lasting and multi-disciplinary contribution in the high impact fields of stromal and cancer immunology.