Deciphering immunotherapy resistance mechanisms in locally advanced and metastatic urothelial carcinoma

Institution: Institut für Pathologie, Universitätsklinikum Erlangen, Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg
Applicant: PD Dr. Markus Eckstein
Funding line:
Else Kröner Excellence Fellowships

Muscle-invasive and metastatic bladder cancer is one of the aggressive types of cancer for which survival rates have not improved in recent decades despite therapeutic advances (immunotherapy). Despite detailed insights into the interplay between bladder cancer and the immune system, it is still not possible to determine which patients will benefit from modern immunotherapies on the basis of immunological markers. In addition, the exact biological reasons why this type of cancer is so resistant to immunotherapies are poorly understood. This project therefore aims to investigate in more detail the mechanisms by which bladder cancer evades the immune system and how these mechanisms develop, change and evolve during metastasis. Based on this understanding, we then want to develop new customized immunotherapeutic concepts for patients with muscle-invasive and metastatic bladder cancer using patient-derived organoids.

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