Worldwide Cancer Research Menu

Do immune cells stimulate skin cancer stem cells?

  • Researcher: Dr Mirna Perez-Moreno
  • Institution: Spanish National Cancer Research Centre (CNIO), Madrid, Spain
  • Award Amount: £200,458 for 3 years from 1st June 2015
  • Cancer Type: Skin Cancer
Do immune cells stimulate skin cancer stem cells?
Stem cells are amazing ‘starter cells’ that can develop into a wide range of different cell types.  Several adult tissues depend on the presence of stem cells to function correctly.  For example skin cells are constantly becoming old and dying or are being damaged through wounds so new skin cells are constantly needed. Skin stem cells are activated and new cells are made.  However, in recent years, scientists have found that uncontrolled activation of stem cells can lead to the formation of tumours, such as squamous cell carcinomas of the skin – a type of skin cancer. “One of the mechanisms activating skin stem cells are molecules called Wnts.” Dr Mirna Perez-Moreno explains.  “We have recently identified that cells of the immune system, called macrophages, produce Wnts and regulate stem cell activation in hair follicles. In this current project, we are aiming to determine whether these macrophage-derived Wnts contribute to the growth of cancer stem cells and the development of skin cancer. Addressing this question is of fundamental importance, as there is a huge interest in understanding how the tissue environment controls stem cell behavior and contributes to cancer. Our results have the potential to open new insights into the physiological mechanisms that sustain tumours, and may lead to the development of new and improved therapeutic strategies.”
Showing: All projects

The Research That Is Happening Right Now

Explore current projects to see how far-reaching our research is from a global perspective.

Projects per page: 31020

Our Impact

See the difference our research projects make.

Philosophy
Our philosophy is very simple: if we believe a project can make a difference in the fight against cancer then we will award a grant to make it happen. We’re not interested in national borders or any kind of geographical bias, just the most promising proposals. And that’s the very reason we ask t...
Read more
Life in the Lab
Supporters often ask us what type of projects their donations are funding. What does a typical day in the life of a cancer researcher look like? To answer these questions and give you an insight into the vital work your support helps us to fund, we've put together this short video....
Read more