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Innate immunity and cancer

Our group studies innate lymphocytes, with a particular focus on basic biology of NK cells, how they are influenced in a tumor microenvironment, and how they can be utilized in therapy in context of allo-transplantation and hematological malignancies.

About the group

Our aim is to understand how the tumor microenvironment influences NK cell functions, and to manipulate NK cells to resist tumor-mediated suppression


  • Developing NK-cell derived exosomes for cancer therapy
  • In-depth mechanistic studies of how leukemia blasts evade and suppress the immune system using rat models of T-ALL and AML. Projects include ex vivo manipulation of NK cells for immunotherapy, and investigations of whether exosomes released from leukemic blasts affect NK cell tumor immunosurveillance.
  • Developmental and functional characterization of NK cell subsets and ILCs in different tissues in the rat, and their regulation of inflammation.
  • Evaluation of exosomes as early prognostic markers for risk stratification of pediatric acute leukemia.
  • Characterization of intracellular signaling cascades in human NK cells.


  • Fridtjof Lund-Johansen, Dept of Immunology, Oslo University Hospital
  • Professor Erik Dissen, IMB, University of Oslo
  • Professor Anne Dickinson, Newcastle University, UK
  • Professor Ralf Dressel, Göttingen University, Germany
  • Professor Alexander Steinle, Goethe University Frankfurt, Germany
  • Professor Helga Schmetzer, University Hospital of Munich, Germany
Published Dec. 14, 2018 12:12 PM - Last modified Aug. 3, 2020 2:52 PM