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Targeting the metabolism-immune system connections in Cancer

Project description

Cancer immune cell interaction: the role of metabolism

Cancer cells exhibit rapid growth and proliferation. Compared to normal cells, they have evolved unique metabolic characteristics that enable them to meet their increased energy demands. Moreover, cancer-associated metabolism can influence the tumor microenvironment, including immune cell function and immune evasion strategies employed by cancer cells. Funded by the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions programme, the META-CAN project aims to investigate how nutrients and oxygen levels regulate tumor-immune system interactions. The work will offer improved understanding of the anti-cancer immune response, paving the way for novel therapeutic possibilities with drugs targeting the metabolism of both cancer and immune cells.


"Cancer cells show common features of profound metabolic changes and escape from the immune system, independently of their tissue of origin. These metabolic adaptations are not limited to glucose metabolism (the ""Warburg effect"") but are more general and affect several metabolic pathways in cancer cells as well as in the stroma, including immune cells. This network will explore how nutrients and hypoxia regulate the tumor-immune system interplay, and how this communication is controlled by oncogenes, metabolic regulators and current or potential drugs targeting metabolism.
Understanding how metabolism can affect tumor cells and the anti-cancer immune response represents a potential therapeutic intervention point that can be exploited to develop novel therapies and new diagnostic and prognostic markers. The development of therapies targeting cancer metabolism is hampered by: 1) the complexity of the regulation that metabolism exerts on many different tumor layers, which requires multidisciplinary collaborations, and 2) the shortage of scientists that can navigate with ease between academic, industrial and clinical sectors and have the scientific and complementary skills to convert research findings into commercial and clinical applications.
This network provides a pan-European interdisciplinary and intersectoral training program of excellence bringing young researchers together with World leading academics, clinicians, pharma industry members, corporate research and dissemination and outreach specialists. As part of the research training, the consortium will conduct a coherent and integrated set of hypothesis-driven research projects that are aimed at discovering, describing and exploiting how metabolism at the cell and the whole body levels is integrated with modulation of cell death susceptibility and the immune response in the context of cancer.


Net EU contribution
€ 743 618,88
08908 L'Hospitalet De Llobregat

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Este Cataluña Barcelona
Activity type
Research Organisations
Total cost
€ 743 618,88

Participants (12)

Partners (7)