iCANx Cancer – Lung (Disease) Crosstalk: Tumor and Organ Microenvironment

© Nadja Ritschel & Sabine Gräf

Lung cancer is the most common cause of death among cancers worldwide. In addition, the lung is a frequent site for secondary tumors (metastases) from, for example, breast, colon, as well as lung cancer itself. It is largely unknown how tumor cells can adapt to the local environment (organ microenvironment) to successfully spread to the lung and how they can transform this environment in their favor. Therefore, iCANx aims to elucidate the crosstalk between tumor cells and their microenvironment. Furthermore, iCANx investigates the impact of lung tumor-associated diseases such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), pulmonary hypertension and pulmonary fibrosis on lung cancer and lung metastasis. A deeper understanding of these complex interactions promises innovative therapeutic and curative approaches that target the organ- and tumor-specific microenvironment, for example, to prevent colonization of the lung in various cancers.

LOEWE Research Cluster


  • Justus Liebig University Gießen (lead management)
  • Philipps University Marburg 
  • Max Planck Institute for Heart and Lung Research

Fields of study

  • Lung cancer
  • Tumor biology
  • Tumor and organ microenvironment
  • Lung diseases
  • Preclinical models
  • Tumor metabolism 
  • Tumor and immune cell crosstalk

Funding period

since 2021

Project Coordinator

  • Professor Dr Till Acker, Justus Liebig University Giessen
  • Professor Dr Thorsten Stiewe (Deputy), Philipps University Marburg
  • Professor Dr Rajkumar Savai (Deputy), Justus Liebig University Giessen and Max Planck Institute for Heart and Lung Research


  • Gießen
  • Marburg

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