Welcome to the home page of Tor Erik Rusten's group Tumor-Host Biology
Our overarching interest is to understand the mechanisms by which tumor and host cells mutually engage each other in reciprocal interactions to facilitate carcinogenesis through cell signaling and transfer of nutrients.
Tumor-host interactions occur both locally in the tumor microenvironment and systemically causing organ dysfunction such as in cancer cachexia - the metabolic reprogramming and catastrophic wasting of muscle and adipose tissue. We believe that studying these processes in the fruit fly animal model system can uncover new ways to intercept carcinogenesis and systemic effects initiated by tumor presence.
Some of our models
In order to mechanistically understand how tumor and non-tumor cells and organs
communicate to foster tumor growth and cause cancer cachexia we develop novel genetic
tools in Drosophila. We now have tools in hand to selectively and independently manipulate
tumor and either tumor microenvironment or somatic organs in vivo. We employ a wide array
of techniques and collaborate with experts in cell biology, genetics, imaging, tumor biology,
metabolism, bioinformatics and clinical cancer cachexia in order to survey, measure and
mechanistically understand these complex aspects of cancer biology.
In parallel to in vivo work in flies, we utilize human organoid and spheroid cell culture to
understand cellular mechanisms controlling cell polarity, morphogenesis and cell-cell
communication, the disruption of which is set off by cancer-driving mutations and underlies
early tumor development.
See the awesome videos WHY USE THE FLY? and SMALL FLY BIG IMPACT or read more about the use of Drosophila in science here.
We collaborate with the research groups of:
- Eyal Gottlieb, TICC, Haifa, Israel
- Rita Sousa-Nunes, King's College, London, UK
- Todd schoborg, University of Wyoming, Wyoming, US
- Terje Johansen, University of Tromsø, Norway
- Heinrich Jasper, Genentech, California, US
- Ditte S Andersen & Julien Colombani, University of Copenhagen
- Harald Stenmark, Institute for Cancer Research, OUH, Oslo, Norway
- Jorrit Enserink, Institute for Cancer Research, OUH, Oslo, Norway
- Jørgen Wesche,Institute for Cancer Research, OUH, Oslo, Norway
- Anne Simonsen, University of Oslo, Norway