Lung Cancer is one of the most common malignant tumours. Despite improved therapeutically possibilities many patients still die from this disease. This is the reason why our working group set the focus on analyzing the immunpathogenesis of lung cancer in murine models. In this context advancements in the understanding of the role of the local mucosal immune systems have been made. We demonstrated that the transcription factor NFATc2 plays an important role in experimental lung tumour by activating local CD8+ T-lymphocytes. Additional we could demonstrate that T-bet deficient micedevelop a stronger lung cancer phenotype compared to wild type littermates. Moreover we demonstrated that an antibody directed against IL-17A given intranasally in mice could decrease the tumour growth in treated mice.
Furthermore we have established a murine model of malignant melanoma, where the melanoma cells metastasize into the lung. In this model system we have verified an important anti-tumor role of the cytokine EBI3 which is produced by local antigen-presenting cells. Moreover we have recently initiated a collaboration with the Thoracic Surgery Department in Erlangen to analyze lung samples from Lung Cancer patients to better understand the role of T-bet, Th17 and regulatory T cells in lung cancer in humans to set up preclinical therapeutic strategies.