Ludwig Tumor Atlas

The Ludwig Tumor Atlas is a wide-ranging collaborative project involving members of the Ludwig Center at Harvard Medical School and Ludwig Cancer Research Centers elsewhere in the U.S. and Europe. The overall aim of the Atlas is to investigate the basis of intrinsic and acquired resistance to anti-cancer drugs and to thereby develop new biomarkers, therapies and clinical protocols for overcoming or avoiding such resistance.

Drug resistance is the greatest single challenge facing contemporary cancer therapy. Despite extraordinary advances in cancer therapeutics, most patients eventually relapse and succumb to disease due to the development of drug resistance. The problem of resistance is complicated by tumor heterogeneity– including remarkable heterogeneity within an individual tumor and among tumors at different sites in the same patient. Tumors and their microenvironments are also plastic, changing through the course of disease and in response to drugs. High dimensional tissue imaging and single cell genetics are being used to characterize this heterogeneity at multiple spatial scales, often in biopsies from patients prior to and during therapy, and then following relapse. Such data are being assembled into Atlas designed to guide next generation diagnosis and drug development.

Funding: The Ludwig Tumor Atlas is funded by the Ludwig Center at Harvard Medical School and by a generous gift from the Ludwig Cancer Research Foundation.