Siemann Cancer Biology Lab

Program Leader

Dietmar W. Siemann, Ph.D.
John P. Cofrin Professor for Cancer Research
Associate Chair, Department of Radiation Oncology

Research Areas

The tumor microenvironment has long been identified as a major factor influencing treatment resistance of cancer to conventional anticancer therapies.

In addition it is now well recognized that the tumor microenvironment plays a critical role in neoplastic cell initiation, malignant progression, and metastatic spread of tumor cells. However, the very characteristics of the tumor microenvironment that lead to therapy resistance also can provide unique treatment opportunities. A major focus of this laboratory is the development and assessment of novel anticancer treatment strategies. This research emphasizes approaches targeting two critical aspects of cancer growth; the initiation of a tumor blood vessel network, and the secondary spread of cancer cells.

Current laboratory projects focus on:

  • Characterizing the impact of tumor microenvironment on cancer cell function and behavior
  • Exploring targeting strategies directed against critical cancer cell signaling pathways
  • Developing treatment approaches that impair the tumor blood vessel network
  • Combining biologic targeting strategies with conventional anticancer treatments
  • Identifying and characterizing stem cells in solid tumors
  • Evaluating therapeutic interventions designed to inhibit the spread of cancer cells

These laboratory investigations utilize a variety of human and rodent preclinical cancer models, with particular emphasis on models of kidney, prostate, colorectal, and breast cancer. The research emphasizes translational medicine in oncology with the ultimate goal developing and advancing new treatment strategies for the clinical management of cancer.