The young investigator group ‘Spatial Proteomics’ headed by Fabian Coscia supports the MSTARS research core with a highly innovative and multimodal analysis concept. By the combination of digital pathology workflows with highly sensitive MS techniques, Fabian Coscia’s team will generate proteome data with unprecedented biological resolution. This concept allows the spatially-resolved analysis of tumor cells in the complex tissue environment, considering tumor subpopulations and cells of the tumor microenvironment. These experimental data are then integrated with clinical data to shed light onto therapy resistance on the molecular and cellular level. This resource will help to make clinical predictions and to identify new therapeutic strategies.
The performed analyses open up a new perspective on therapy resistance addressing the interaction of tumor cells among themselves and with cells in their microenvironment, such as immune cells. The project will result in new hypotheses addressing the development of therapy resistance in solid cancers, which will be studied mechanistically in cooperation with other partners of the MSTARS consortium. The research approach of the Coscia lab is widely applicable, but will initially focus on HNSCC studies. A unique collection of clinical samples and patient-derived preclinical models, available to the research core, serves as a solid basis to strengthen the diverse research activities. The overall goal is to unite different MS expertise resulting in a sustained MS platform beneficial for future patients.