Mikala Egeblad

Mikala Egeblad

Cancer Center Program Co-Leader

Ph.D., University of Copenhagen and the Danish Cancer Society, 2000

egeblad@cshl.edu | 516-367-6852

Egeblad Lab Website   Faculty Profile

Cancer cells are surrounded by immune cells, blood vessels, chemical signals and a support matrix—collectively, the tumor microenvironment. Most microenvironments help tumors grow and metastasize, but some can restrict tumors. My lab studies how to target the bad microenvironments and support the good ones to combat cancer.

Mikala Egeblad and colleagues study cancer and, in particular, the microenvironment in which the cancer cells arise and live. Solid tumors are abnormally organized tissues that contain not only cancer cells, but also various other stromal cell types and an extracellular matrix, and these latter components constitute the microenvironment. Communications between the different components of the tumor influence its growth, its response to therapy, and its ability to metastasize. Among the tumor-associated stromal cells, the lab’s main focus is on myeloid-derived immune cells, a diverse group of cells that can enhance angiogenesis and metastasis and suppress the cytotoxic immune response against tumors. Egeblad is interested in how different types of myeloid cells are recruited to tumors and how their behaviors—for example, their physical interactions with cancer cells and other immune cells—influence cancer progression, including metastasis. The Egeblad lab studies the importance of the myeloid cells using mouse models of breast and pancreatic cancer and real-time imaging of cells in tumors in live mice. This enables them to follow the behaviors of and the interactions between cancer and myeloid cells in tumors during progression or treatment. This technique was instrumental when the lab showed that cancer drug therapy can be boosted by altering components of the tumor microenvironments, specifically reducing either matrix metalloproteinases (enzymes secreted by myeloid cells) or chemokine receptors (signal receptors on myeloid cells). Most recently, the Egeblad lab has showed that when a specific type of myeloid cell, called neutrophil, is activated during inflammation it can awaken sleeping cancer to cause cancer recurrence. The neutrophils do so by forming so-called neutrophil extracellular traps, structures of extracellular DNA and these alter the extracellular matrix surrounding the sleeping cancer cells to provide a wake-up signal. 

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Selected Publications

Caught in a Web: Emerging Roles of Neutrophil Extracellular Traps in Cancer

11 Apr 2022 | Annual Review of Cancer Biology | 6(1)
He, Xue-Yan, Ng, David, Egeblad, Mikala

Disulfiram inhibits neutrophil extracellular trap formation protecting rodents from acute lung injury and SARS-CoV-2 infection.

8 Feb 2022 | JCI Insight
Adrover, Jose, Carrau, Lucia, Daßler-Plenker, Juliane, Bram, Yaron, Chandar, Vasuretha, Houghton, Sean, Redmond, David, Merrill, Joseph, Shevik, Margaret, tenOever, Benjamin, Lyons, Scott, Schwartz, Robert, Egeblad, Mikala

Innate Immunity and Cancer Pathophysiology

17 Nov 2021 | Annual Review of Pathology: Mechanisms of Disease | 17(1)
Maiorino, Laura, Daßler-Plenker, Juliane, Sun, Lijuan, Egeblad, Mikala

Activating a collaborative innate-adaptive immune response to control metastasis.

1 Sep 2021 | Cancer Cell
Sun, Lijuan, Kees, Tim, Almeida, Ana, Liu, Bodu, He, Xue-Yan, Ng, David, Han, Xiao, Spector, David, McNeish, Iain, Gimotty, Phyllis, Adams, Sylvia, Egeblad, Mikala

Neutrophil extracellular traps produced during inflammation awaken dormant cancer cells in mice

28 Sep 2018 | Science | 361(6409)
Albrengues, J, Shields, M, Ng, D, Park, C, Ambrico, A, Poindexter, M, Upadhyay, P, Uyeminami, D, Pommier, A, Kuttner, V, Bruzas, E, Maiorino, L, Bautista, C, Carmona, E, Gimotty, P, Fearon, D, Chang, K, Lyons, S, Pinkerton, K, Trotman, L, Goldberg, M, Yeh, J, Egeblad, M

Cancer cells induce metastasis-supporting neutrophil extracellular DNA traps

19 Oct 2016 | Science Translational Medicine | 8(361):361ra138
Park, J, Wysocki, R, Amoozgar, Z, Maiorino, L, Fein, M, Jorns, J, Schott, A, Kinugasa-Katayama, Y, Lee, Y, Won, N, Nakasone, E, Hearn, S, Kuttner, V, Qiu, J, Almeida, A, Perurena, N, Kessenbrock, K, Goldberg, M, Egeblad, M

All Publications

Longitudinal Intravital Imaging Through Clear Silicone Windows

5 Jan 2022 | Journal of Visualized Experiments | (179)
Maiorino, Laura, Shevik, Margaret, Adrover, José, Han, Xiao, Georgas, Elias, Wilkinson, John, Seidner, Harrison, Foerschner, Leonie, Tuveson, David, Qin, Yi-Xian, Egeblad, Mikala

A Bivalent Activatable Fluorescent Probe for Screening and Intravital Imaging of Chemotherapy-induced Cancer Cell Death

11 Nov 2021 | Angewandte Chemie International Edition
Barth, Nicole, Mendive-Tapia, Lorena, Subiros-Funosas, Ramon, Ghashghaie, Ouldouz, Lavilla, Rodolfo, Maiorino, Laura, He, Xue-Yan, Dransfield, Ian, Egeblad, Mikala, Vendrell, Marc

Treatment with granulocyte-colony stimulating factor (G-CSF) is not associated with increased risk of brain metastasis in patients with de novo stage IV breast cancer

25 Jul 2021 | Journal of Cancer | 12(18):5687-5692
Fujii, T, Rehman, H, Chung, S, Shen, J, Newman, J, Wu, V, Hines, A, Azimi-Nekoo, E, Fayyaz, F, Lee, M, Raptis, G, Egeblad, M, Zhu, X

Multi-color Flow Cytometry for Comprehensive Analysis of the Tumor Immune Infiltrate in a Murine Model of Breast Cancer.

5 Jun 2021 | Bio-protocol | 11(11):e4012
Almeida, Ana, Fein, Miriam, Egeblad, Mikala

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