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Michael Shurin

Michael Shurin

Program: Cancer Immunology and Immunotherapy

412-647-6140 Clinical Laboratory Building (CLB), Room 4024
3477 Euler Way
Pittsburgh PA

Our research program focuses on the mechanisms of cellular and molecular interactions in the tumor microenvironment. The elements of the tumor microenvironment can collectively exert both stimulatory and inhibitory pressures on the proliferative, angiogenic, neurogenic and immunomodulating potential of cancerous cells, as well as their ability to spread and metastasize. Thus, insights into the mechanisms regulating host responses to growing tumors are essential for assessing relative risks and improving the therapeutic index for novel therapies associated with the modulation of the tumor microenvironment. Tumor-mediated immune suppression and tolerance remains a key obstacle to the safe and efficacious induction of antitumor immunity by immunotherapeutic modalities. Tumor innervation by afferent and efferent branches of the Peripheral Nervous System and intratumoral neuronal and neuroglial elements are responsible for attraction and activation of immune regulatory cells and for direct regulation of malignant cell proliferation, spreading and metastasis. Cytokines, chemokines, and regulatory RNAs derived from the neuroglial cells play the major role in this phenomenon. Our long-term goal is to develop a feasible and effective therapeutic approach based on a combination of pharmacological inhibition of specific MRC pathways and recovery/boosting of tumor specific immune responses. 

Research Interests and Keywords
  • Immune Regulatory Cells in Cancer
  • Tumor Immunoenvironment
  • Tumor Innervation and Neoneurogenesis
  • Tumor Neuroenvironment
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