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Lung cancer metastasis-National Cancer Institute \ Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University

Host-Tumor Interactions Research Program

Tumor growth, invasion, and metastasis depend not only on the tumor cell alone, but also on the complex interactions between the cancer, stromal, and immune cells. The goal of the Host-Tumor Interactions Research Program is to develop a detailed and mechanistic understanding of the complex cell and microenvironment in which cancer cell interact, and how these interactions influence cancer therapies and immunotherapies.


With the goal of understanding how complex interactions between tumor cells and their host contribute to cancer, the Host-Tumor Interactions program focuses on three specific research themes:

Uncovering basic immune regulatory mechanisms in anti-tumor immunity and how inflammation can be exploited to eliminate cancer or can trigger and promote tumors

Establishing single cell biology and modeling approaches to assess the composition and roles of the heterogeneous cell populations in tumor progression or therapeutic responses.

Integrating and developing molecular imaging technologies to understand and monitor how tumors evolve in a changing microenvironment

Meet the Program Members

The Host-Tumor Interactions program is co-led by Jeffrey Rathmell, Ph.D. and John T. Wilson, Ph.D. The basic, translational, and clinical scientists who make up this program are focused on discovering and understanding these interactions, with the ultimate goal of developing strategies to control tumor progression and metastasis by targeting these interactions.

Featured Publications

Program News

November 18, 2020

V Scholar Award to support Byndloss’ cancer research

Mariana Byndloss, DVM, PhD, assistant professor of Pathology, Microbiology and Immunology, has received a V Scholar Award from the V Foundation for Cancer Research.
December 17, 2020

Study reveals new strategy for reducing tumor growth, metastasis

A team of Vanderbilt investigators has discovered that blocking a certain signaling pathway boosts antitumor immunity and reduces tumor growth and metastasis in models of breast cancer and melanoma.
November 12, 2020

New therapeutic target for lung cancer

Continuous activation of cell surface receptors increases signaling that can promote oncogenic transformation. One receptor, EphA2, has been identified as a driver of lung cancer, but its interacting partners are not well characterized.