(Targeting Endogenous Regeneration and Resolution programmes In Four Inflammation-driven Cancers)


The Challenge


Reframing inflammation-associated cancers as hacked versions of the body’s wound repair systems

Team Lead

Ron Evans Salk Institute for Biological Studies, US

Countries involved


The Idea

The TERRIFIC team’s central hypothesis is that cancers are pathologically-hacked versions of the body’s natural wound repair programmes. The way these programmes rebuild organs and tissue after injury is well described – requiring complex, dynamic and tissue-specific inflammatory interactions between damaged cells and their environment. But how local inflammation promotes cancer remains poorly understood.

TERRIFIC seeks to unravel how inflammatory and regenerative processes converge to establish conditions conducive to tumour growth, looking closely at the collective contributions of local inflammation and immunity and cancer risk factors obesity and circadian disruption. They also seek to decipher how normal regenerative inflammation resolves, and why this fails in cancer. 

With expertise ranging from cancer biology, immunology and  inflammatory disease to metabolism and big data integration, this stellar team’s novel approach could uncover entirely new ways to prevent and treat cancer.   

Major advances come from out-of-the-box thinking. Cancer Grand Challenges has given us the courage to take the lid off the box and bring together complementary expertise from diverse fields to address this daunting challenge.