ULCaN Seminar Series
Time and Date
Friday, 9th April 2021, 1pm
(via MS Teams)
Microsoft Teams meeting
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Speaker: Prof. Marilia Seelaender
University of Sao Paulo
"Inflammatory Tissue cross talk in cachexia: from tumour to tissues and back"
Cancer cachexia remains un unsolved problem, which compromises treatment outcome, patient quality of life and markedly decreases survival. Despite its irrefutable relevance, this paraneoplastic syndrome is not yet fully understood. The combination of a variable plethora of symptoms leading to metabolic imbalance, chronic central and systemic inflammation, and muscle and adipose tissue wasting, renders diagnosis challenging. Unfortunately, to the present day, there is no single treatment proven to revert cachexia. The inflammatory and metabolic crosstalk in cancer cachexia is an intricate net, in which the tumour appears as a major protagonist. Surprisingly, little is known about the role of tumour microenvironment in the induction and progression of cachexia, even when it is clear patients receiving identical diagnosis may or may not develop the syndrome. We have thus examined differences in tumours which were classified by pathologists within the same type and stage, while having been obtained from cachectic or weight stable patients. The findings point out to a very dissimilar pattern of immune cell infiltration, response to hypoxia, and to different secretory patterns, aspects which shall be discussed. We hypothesise that factors secreted by the tumours are responsible for the induction of local and systemic inflammatory responses. In this scenario we propose that the white adipose tissue and the liver will then respond to tumour-derived factors, exacerbating systemic inflammation and causing metabolic disruption. Finally, we intend to briefly comment on our results regarding treatment strategies for cachexia, in particular, exercise and nutrition.
Marilia Seelaender graduated in Biology and Science at the same institution in which she received her MSc and PhD degrees, the University of Sao Paulo. One year before completing the PhD (1994), Seelaender was appointed to a permanent position at the Cell and developmental Biology Department, Institute of Biomedical Sciences, University of Sao Paulo (USP). Immediately after receiving her PhD (Physiology), she developed a post-doctoral project in the Metabolic Research Group, Radcliffe Infirmary, University of Oxford. After returning, she established her group for the study of cancer cachexia (Cancer Metabolism Research Group). She worked later as research associate at the University of Barcelona, and twice, at Potsdam University. In 2016 she became a professor of the Department of Surgery of the Medical School, USP, and from 2019 onwards she became head of the Laboratory of Experimental Surgery of the Hospital das Clinicas of the University. Seelaender works, since 2020 at the Medical School, USP, where she coordinates several experimental translational research laboratories. She is currently a director of the board of the Cancer Cachexia Society. Seerçaender’s main topic of research is the inflammation/metabolism interface in chronic disease, with special focus in cancer. More recently, the same aspects are also being investigated by the group and collaborating colleagues, in covid 19.