The tumour microenvironment, encompassing a range of cell types such as fibroblasts, immune cells, neurones and endothelial cells, as well as the extracellular matrix (ECM) in which they are embedded, plays a key role in tumour growth and spread. We are studying the mechanisms by which both the cells and the ECM of the microenvironment develop and influence tumour growth, with the aim of identifying novel drug targets and biomarkers to aid early diagnosis, response to treatment and prognosis. There are a number of ongoing projects focusing on the role of extracellular vesicles (EVs) in oral cancer progression and their function in the tumour microenvironment. A better understanding of this may lead to novel therapeutic targets.
Please also see our Extracellular Vesicle Group webpage: http://vesicle-research.group.shef.ac.uk/