5. Interdisciplinary method to elucidate the interaction between brain microenvironment and cancer cells

Microglia are the only immune cells in the brain parenchyma, and they play an important role in initial immunity.

We are investigating the interaction between cancer cells and microglia in the developmental stages of metastatic brain tumors.

We have established a technique for chronic visualization of cancer cells and microglia in the living brain using two-photon microscopy, and captured the process of invasion of cancer cells into the brain parenchyma that revealed heterogeneous fate of cancer cells in the brain.

Based on this research, we are studying the mechanism by which cancer escapes the patrols of the immune system, including microglia.

If we can elucidate this, we believe that we will be able to propose new therapies to induce the brain microenvironment to eliminate tumors.

In the future, we will integrate our research with the cultivation and analysis of cancer cells collected from patients (Tsuji, et al., 2020) to construct a system that can extract novel therapeutic factors that mediate brain metastasis from patient cancer samples.