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Research Group Sonia Tugues


Immune mechanisms, innate lymphocytes, metastasis, cancer, microenvironment

Summary & Mission statement

Our research group is interested in the immune mechanisms regulating metastasis, the final stage of cancer progression. We aim at understanding how innate lymphocytes surveil metastatic organs in order to harness their activity for anticancer therapy.


The progression of cancer is tightly regulated by the crosstalk between tumor cells and various components of the immune system, which either restrict or potentiate tumor growth. As crucial effectors of immune responses, Innate Lymphoid Cells (ILCs) have been distinctly associated with tumor-promoting as well as tumor-suppressive activities. This dichotomy arises from the high degree of heterogeneity and plasticity between the ILC family subsets. The most common metastatic organs, for instance, are populated by unique ILC subsets that engage in different, specialized effector functions. Our research aims at understanding whether organ-specific microenvironments induce distinct patterns of ILC responses during tumor progression. In addition, we investigate how ILCs interact with other cell types within the tumor microenvironment. Gaining a better understanding of the multifaceted roles of ILCs in cancer will allow us to develop novel strategies to manipulate their responses against this fatal disease.