The exciting recent breakthroughs in cancer immunotherapy have stimulated great interest in cancer immunology. Therefore, in view of the major roles of p53 mutations and Hippo deregulation in cancer, we wish to elucidate the impact of these pathways on the crosstalk between tumors and the immune system.
In particular, recent findings suggest that p53 mutations might render the cancer cells less susceptible to elimination by the immune system. Moreover, recent discoveries by our lab and others suggest that mutant p53 is a key player in regulating tumor inflammatory responses, in part by the transcriptional crosstalk between mutant p53 and NF-kB, a transcription factor that is a master regulator of the immune system.
Using in vitro and in vivo models, bioinformatics and clinical modalities, we are exploring p53-modulated molecular pathways that affect the ability of cancer cells to evade immune attack. To that end we are planning to employ advanced cell profiling and imaging methods, in order to understand how p53 genetic alterations shape the immune landscape in different cancers.