Engineering the tumor microenvironment: hemin conditioning in vivo impairs tumor growth and reprograms angiogenesis and the immune-response in prostate cancer

This project is developed in the context of a national collaboration and aims to get better insights about how Heme-oxygenase-1 (HO-1) modulation in the tumor microenvironment impacts on prostate cancer progression. In fact, inflammation is recognized as a risk factor for cancer and several pro-inflammatory bio-molecules have a major impact on tumor cells themselves but also on the associate stroma. In fact, in response to oxidative injury and to counter the adverse effects of inflammation a fine control program of gene expression in order to restore cellular homeostasis is triggered. In this context, the enzyme heme oxygenase (HO-1) plays a major role. This project evaluates some original ideas about how the induction of this enzyme impacts on tumor angiogenesis and tumor-specific immune activation. These ideas have an important translation potential since concepts under evaluation may highly impact in tumor progression.