Tumor-stroma communication
Basic/translational research
Príncipe Felipe Research Center (CIPF)
·Valencia ·

The behavior of a cell type is not the same if this cell is isolated as if the same cell type is in contact with another cell type. Traditionally, cell biology has been limited to the study of a single cell type under different conditions. Recently, however, cellular communication is beginning to attract attention for its influence on cell biology.

The Tumor-Estroma Communication group aims to decipher the complicated connections between cancer cells and the stroma contained in tumors. This stroma may be composed of cells or extracellular matrix proteins. Most of our work has focused on this particularity, we have described how tumor cells alter the membrane composition of macrophages, inducing dysregulation in signaling pathways that transduce inflammatory signaling and ultimately lead to immunosuppression. We have also contributed to demonstrate how tumor cells induce endothelial cell senescence, making the endothelium more permeable and enhancing metastasis. Ultimately, our research focuses on how tumor cells and stroma interact with each other, and how this interaction may influence tumor development.

On the other hand, the group focuses on other aspects that contribute to the low overall survival characteristic of pancreatic cancer, such as cachexia. Cachexia is one of the main causes of mortality in cancer patients and is characterized by remodeling of white adipose tissue, which leads to altered lipid storage, apoptosis, inflammation and, ultimately, fibrosis of this tissue. Tissue wasting occurs in response to factors secreted by the cancer. Our group is studying the role of adipose tissue inflammation in the development of cachexia.

Main publications in pancreatic cancer:

  1. HAPLN1 potentiates peritoneal metastasis in pancreatic cancer. Wiedmann L, De Angelis Rigotti F, Vaquero-Siguero N, Donato E, Espinet E, Moll I, Alsina-Sanchis E, Bohnenberger H, Fernandez-Florido E, Mülfarth R, Vacca M, Gerwing J, Conradi LC, Ströbel P, Trumpp A, Mogler C, Fischer A, Rodriguez-Vita J. Nat Commun. 2023 Apr 24;14(1):2353. 
  2. Endothelial RBPJ Is Essential for the Education of Tumor-Associated Macrophages. Alsina-Sanchis E, Mülfarth R, Moll I, Böhn S, Wiedmann L, Jordana-Urriza L, Ziegelbauer T, Zimmer E, Taylor J, De Angelis Rigotti F, Stögbauer A, Giaimo BD, Cerwenka A, Borggrefe T, Fischer A, Rodriguez-Vita J. Cancer Res. 2022 Dec 2;82(23):4414-4428. 
  3. Membrane Cholesterol Efflux Drives Tumor-Associated Macrophage Reprogramming and Tumor Progression. Goossens P, Rodriguez-Vita J, Etzerodt A, Masse M, Rastoin O, Gouirand V, Ulas T, Papantonopoulou O, Van Eck M, Auphan-Anezin N, Bebien M, Verthuy C, Vu Manh TP, Turner M, Dalod M, Schultze JL, Lawrence T. Nat cancer. 2019 Jun 4;29(6):1376-1389.e4.
Juan Rodríguez Vita

Principal Investigator

Group members

  • Juan Rodríguez Vita
  • Francesca De Angelis Rigotti
  • Cristina Fandos

Other groups