What are immune cells?

The tumor has the ability to develop a complex network of numerous types of immune system cells, belonging to different cell populations, which form the tumor microenvironment.What is prostate cancer?

It is a cancer that affects the prostate, the male gland that has the main task of producing and storing seminal fluid. The causes of this neoplasm are not yet completely clear: at the base there is a mutation in the DNA of the cells that causes an abnormal proliferation of the same, the accumulation of which forms the tumor.How is it identified?In most cases, the diagnosis of prostate cancer relies on screening tests, which include rectal examination, PSA examination, biopsy.And how is it treated?

Therapeutic pathways for prostate cancer range from radiotherapy to prostate removal surgery (radical prostatectomy), to hormone therapy and chemotherapy. The choice of treatment depends on various factors such as the extent of the tumor, its possible extra-prostatic spread, the patient’s age and general health.

Today there is one more allyIt is immunotherapy, an emerging area in cancer research that aims to use the patient’s immune system to “teach” him to attack cancer cells.The objectives of Humanitas Research are important

Our researchers have shown that immune cells that infiltrate tumors are important regulators of tumor growth and can both promote and limit its development. Cancer progression, therefore, is typically accompanied by suppression of the immune system.

Understanding better which immune cells are present in the microenvironment surrounding a tumor and how they behave is the first step in developing more targeted immunotherapy strategies with fewer side effects.

The protagonists in the lab need your help

The research project underway in the laboratory of Diletta Di Mitri, of the Tumor Microenvironment Unit, aims to identify and identify the mechanisms by which tumors “model” the immunological microenvironment in favor of their own development and disease progression, in particular prostate cancer.

In the laboratory, the cells of the immune system present within the tumor at different stages of its progression, from benign to metastatic tumor, are analyzed. The necessary funds are intended for:

identify specific factors, immune populations and biological pathways that favor tumor progression and metastasis formation,develop new immunotherapies to activate immune system cells present in the tumor microenvironment against the progression of prostate cancer.

parallel observe the immune components in the tumor, urine and blood of patients to identify biomarkers associated with tumor progression, to be then validated in databases deriving from the human prostate cancer genome, with the ultimate goal of developing new non-invasive strategies for the diagnosis of this tumor.


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