Dr. Spector on the Importance of Tumor Microenvironments


Dr. Neil Spector, from Duke Cancer Institute, Emphasizes the Importance of Studying Tumor Microenvironments

Neil L. Spector, MD, co-director, Experimental Therapeutics, Duke Cancer Institute, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, North Carolina, discusses the need for cancer researchers to investigate the entire system and tumor microenvironment.

Studying the genomics of a tumor must advance to include the abnormalities in the entire system. In some cases the microenvironment may be offering the fertile ground that a tumor needs to grow. As an example, Spector notes that a cancerous cell containing multiple mutations can be planted in a healthy microenvironment and the malignant cells will not grow. This places extreme importance on understanding how the entire system affects the tumor.

An example of a systemic effect on the tumor is the immune system. Understanding the immune system’s effect on the tumor may answer many of the questions about how tumors grow and respond to chemotherapy and targeted therapies.

Related Videos
Reshma Jagsi, MD, DPhil, Emory University
Nisha A. Mohindra, MD, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine
Katrina S. Pedersen, MD, MS, associate professor, John T. Milliken Department of Medicine, Division of Oncology, Medical Oncology program leader, cofounder, Young Onset Colorectal Cancer Program, Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, Siteman Cancer Center
Dan S. Childs, MD, medical oncologist, Mayo Clinic
Neal Shore, MD, FACS, discusses current and ongoing research with radioligand therapy in patients with nonmetastatic castration-sensitive prostate cancer.
Jane L. Meisel, MD
Kari Wisinski, MD, Endowed Professor of Hematology and Oncology, chief, Division of Hematology, Medical Oncology, and Palliative Care, Department of Medicine, University of Wisconsin (UW) School of Medicine and Public Health; associate director, Clinical Research, co-lead, Breast Cancer Disease Oriented Team, UW Carbone Cancer Center
Susan C. Modesitt, MD, FACOG, FACS, professor, Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics, director, Division of Gynecologic Oncology, Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics, Emory University School of Medicine
Nikhil A. Gopal, MD