The PerMedCoE webinar series aims to present and discuss topics and best practices in the field of personalized medicine. All PerMedCoE webinars include an audience Q&A session during which attendees can ask questions and make suggestions. Please note that all webinars are recorded and available for posterior viewing.
Abstract: Monocyte-derived macrophages help maintain tissue homeostasis and defend the organism against pathogens. In tumours, recent studies have uncovered complex macrophage populations, including tumour-associated macrophages, which support tumorigenesis through cancer hallmarks such as immunosuppression, angiogenesis or matrix remodelling. In the case of chronic lymphocytic leukaemia, these macrophages are known as nurse-like cells and they protect leukemic cells from spontaneous apoptosis contributing to their chemoresistance. We propose an agent-based model of monocyte differentiation into nurse-like cells upon contact with leukemic B cells in vitro. We performed patient-specific model calibrations using cultures of peripheral blood mononuclear cells from patients. Using our model, we were able to reproduce temporal survival dynamics of cancer cells in a patient-specific manner and to identify patient groups related to distinct macrophage phenotypes. Our results show a potentially important role of phagocytosis in the polarization process of nurse-like cells and in promoting cancer cells' enhanced survival.
Speaker: Dr Vera Pancaldi, Cancer Research Center of Toulouse (CRCT-INSERM)