Amir Abdollahi, M.D. Ph.D.

There is now considerable evidence that progressive tumor growth and its metastatic spread are angiogenesis dependent. The pervasive role of tumor microenvironment and the intricate communication between the tumor and its host tissue attracted enormous scientific attention. The field of tumor angiogenesis has seen an explosive growth over the last couple of years. Preclinical as well as early clinical evaluation of novel compounds is progressing at a rapid pace. The advent of high throughput technologies (i.e., transcriptomics, proteomics, epigenomics and functional genomics) has fueled hopes to systematically uncover the molecular events underlying cancer development and progression.

In order to tackle the multifaceted nature of tumor biology we have built an international and multidisciplinary consortium consisting of physicians, biologists, biochemists, physicists, mathematicians and computer scientists from the four institutions:

Our research goals are:

  • Systematic transcriptional and functional analysis of cancer with special focus on
    Tumor <=> Tumor-microenvironment communication
    • Tumor-Angiogenesis (tumor vasculature, i.e., endogenous angiogenesis inhibitors)
    • Tumor-Fibrogenesis (tumor stroma, "interstitium")
    • Tumor-Metastasis
  • Molecular radiation biology: photons, protons, heavy Ions (iron, carbon)
  • Understanding the role of tumor-tumor microenviroment interplay in acquired resistance to
    • conventional cancer therapies (radiotherapy and chemotherapy)
    • "targeted" anticancer agents (i.e., antiangiogenic therapy)
  • Rational design, preclinical evaluation and clinical translation of novel multimodal cancer therapy regimens 
    • defining the optimal antiangiogenic cocktail for different tumor entities
    • combination of antiangiogenics with radiation- and chemotherapy ("trimodal therapy")
    • identification of potential molecular marker (gene/protein signatures) to predict therapy response
    • evaluation of the predictive value of non-invasive imaging tools (US, MRI, CT) in therapy response monitoring
    • identification of novel therapeutic targets or new indications for already FDA approved drugs