Ilona Kryczek, PhD
University of Michigan
Human myeloid suppressor cells maintain ovarian cancer stemness
Stem-like cancer cells are thought to play a key role in both chemoresistance and relapse, both of which can occur following treatment of advanced ovarian cancer. Stem-like cancer cells are maintained and supported by niches enriched in immune cells. Dr. Kryczek’s project will document the role of myeloid-derived suppressor cells in regulating genetic and epigenetic mechanisms which stabilize and maintain stem-like cancer cells. Myeloid-derived suppressor cells massively infiltrate the ovarian cancer tumor environment (primary and metastatic tumor as well as peritoneal fluid) and utilize distinct signaling pathways, thereby contributing to the opposing biological functions that promote stability and survival of stem-like cancer cells.