The main interest of the group is the study of the tumor microenvironment of the ductal pancreatic adenocarcinoma (PDAC). This includes the characterization of the tumor cells with special focus on the Epithelial-Mesenchymal Transition (EMT)-like tumor budding cells at the invasive front of PDAC, as well as the stromal cells and the immune cells surrounding them. Our aim is the identification of genetic and epigenetic changes of the different cell populations that promote the aggressive (EMT)-like tumor budding phenotype in PDAC.
Current research projects
Integrated Genomic and Immunophenotypic Classification of Pancreatic Cancer
Group Diamantis By integrating immune cell background, molecular, and histomorphologic data, we describe three distinct, clinically/ biologically relevant pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) subtypes: "immune escape," "immune rich," and "immune exhausted." These largely correspond to previously described molecular PDAC subtypes, thus providing a recognizable morphologic substrate integrating host immune response patterns with tumor-associated factors, including molecular features and biologic behavior of the tumors. This will enable the translation of molecular findings into clinically relevant information and may provide a basis for a more successful and individualized therapeutic approach.
Graphic: Immune phenotypes of pancreatic cancer