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Tumors of the digestive system represent the most frequent malignant diseases affecting men and women to the same extent. They are associated with poor prognosis: Colorectal cancer (CRC) is one of the three most common causes of cancer-related deaths in the Western World. Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) is associated with limited treatment options. Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) accounts for most liver cancers and is diagnosed in more than half a million people worldwide each year. Despite substantial progress in cancer research, covering tumor initiation, tumor progression, and metastatic dissemination, the molecular and cellular mechanisms driving gastro-intestinal tumors are poorly understood. Therefore, it is of tremendous interest to identify and characterize the key players in these processes using CRC, PDAC and HCC as model entities. In this topic the members of the consortium will make a joint effort to investigate tumor initiation and progression covering not only tumor-centric questions but also considering tumor-microenvironmental aspects.

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