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Experimental Therapy Group

Group Members:

Research Topics:

  • Investigation of the tumor microenvironment as a potential therapeutic target.
  • Investigation of changes in the tumor microenvironment after anti-cancer therapies.
  • Isolation of immune cells from the tumor microenvironment after anti-cancer therapies on mouse models.
  • Designing new anti-cancer therapeutic regimens based on a combination of radiotherapy, chemotherapy, immunotherapy, anti-angiogenic or anti-vascular therapy.
  • Isolation of cells from the tumor microenvironment of National Research Institute of Oncology  patients and their use in designing new anti-cancer therapeutic strategies.
  • Isolation and characterization of mesenchymal stromal cells from mouse and human tissues and attempts to use them in repairing damaged tissues or transferring therapeutic genes.
  • Search for new prognostic markers of radioresistance.


  1. Juli Rodriguez Bago, Ph.D. Faculty Hospital Ostrava Clinic of Hematooncology, Ostrava, Czechy
  2. Nutrifarm Sp. z o.o, Pustynia, Poland
  3. Jan Kasperczyk, Professor; Katarzyna Jelonek, Assistant professor, Laboratory Of Polymer Biomedical Materials, Centre of Polymer and Carbon Materials, Zabrze, Poland
  4. Wiesław Szeja, Professor; Danuta Gillner, Assistant Professor; Anna Kasprzycka, PhD, Department of Organic Chemistry, Bioorganic Chemistry and Biotechnology, Silesian University of Technology, Gliwice, Poland
  5. Weronika Rupik, Assistant professor, Faculty of Natural Sciences, University of Silesia, Katowice, Poland
  6. Michał Zembala, Assistant professor, Silesian Center for Heart Diseases, Zabrze, Poland
  7. Piotr Wilczek, Assistant professor, Professor Zbigniew Religa Foundation of Cardiac Surgery Development, Zabrze, Poland

Tomasz Sirek, PhD, Dr Sirek MedCosmetic Plastic Surgery Clinic, Bielsko-Biała, Poland

Research projects:

PeriodProject IDPrincipal InvestigatorTitle
2022-20252021/41/B/NZ5/03245 OPUS_21Tomasz Cichoń, Assistant professorTumor microenvironment remodeling with genetically modified ex vivo M1 macrophages
2021 – 20242020/39/B/NZ5/00745 OPUS_20Ryszard Smolarczyk, PhDPolymersomes specifically releasing cGAMP and doxorubicin in tumor hypoxic regions as a new anti-cancer therapeutic strategy
2020 -2021Internal Grant NIO-PIBTomasz Cichoń, PhDThe use of ex vivo genetically modified M1 macrophages in anti-cancer therapy
2020 – 20212020/04/X/NZ3/00991 MINIATURA_4Sybilla Matuszczak, PhDThe cytoprotective role of tumor microenvironment cells in relation to the head and neck cancer cells during radiotherapy
2020 – 20232019/34/E/NZ7/00010 SONATA BIS_9Katarzyna Jelonek, PhDDual-targeted biodegradable polymeric micelles for anticancer drug delivery
2020 – 20232019/35/N/NZ5/02506 PRELUDIUM_18Alina Drzyzga, PhD studentThe effect of STING stimulation on neutrophils polarisation in the tumor microenvironment
2019 – 2020DN/SN-09WP/2019 Grant wewnętrzny NIO-PIBKrzysztof Ślosarek, ProfessorInfluence of shields, obstacles on the effectiveness of radiotherapy and the type of induced cell death
2019 – 2020DN/SN-04WP/2019 Internal Grant NIO-PIBAdam Maciejewski, ProfessorReconstruction of the rat trachea with the use of acellular allogeneic trachea and mesenchymal stromal cells of fat origin – preliminary studies
2019 – 20222018/31/B/NZ5/01825 OPUS_16Ryszard Smolarczyk, PhDSTING protein activation combined with anti-vascular agent as a novel strategy for anticancer therapy
2019 – 20232018/31/D/NZ5/01754 SONATA_14Magdalena Jarosz-Biej, PhDThe combination of radiotherapy with imiquimod and sunitinib as a new therapeutic strategy overcoming some of the tumor microenvironment-mediated radio-resistance mechanisms.
2019 – 20222018/29/N/NZ4/01689 PRELUDIUM_15Ewelina Pilny, PhDAngiogenic properties of interleukin 6 stimulated macrophages
2018 – 20192018/02/X/NZ4/02331 MINIATURA_2Justyna Czapla, PhDThe role of macrophages in the formation of new blood vessels
2016 – 20192015/17/N/NZ4/02738 PRELUDIUM_9Natalia Kułach, PhDMesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs) as a carrier of IL-12 cDNA in the treatment of mice with B16-F10 melanoma and metastases
2015 – 20182014/15/B/NZ4/00696 OPUS_8Stanisław Szala, Professor/ Tomasz Cichoń, PhDThe role of the cytokine IL-6 secreted by mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs) in the formation of new blood vessels
2015 – 2019STRATEGMED_2Silesian Center for Heart DiseasesMesenchymal stromal cells and scaffold enriched with them as an alternative form of therapy for patients with heart failure
2014 – 20172013/11/B/NZ4/04468 OPUS_6Stanisław Szala, Professor/ Magdalena Jarosz-Biej, PhDOral endoglin based-DNA vaccine combined with gene encoding IL-12 can polarize tumor microenvironment from proangiogenic and immunosuppressive phenotype to antiangiogenic and immunostimulatory
2011 – 2014N401 5875 40 MNiSW – 40Stanisław Szala, Professor/ Magdalena Jarosz-Biej, PhDImmunological anti-tumor response: role of drugs in inducing necrotic cell death
2010 – 2014POIG.01.03.01-00-169/09Silesian Center for Heart DiseasesCardiac stem and progenitor cells – a new method of regenerating a damaged heart


  1. Kułach N, Pilny E, Cichoń T, Czapla J, Jarosz-Biej M, Rusin M, Drzyzga A, Matuszczak S, Szala S, Smolarczyk R. (2021): Mesenchymal stromal cells as carriers of IL-12 reduce primary and metastatic tumors of murine melanoma. Sci Rep. 11:18335.
  2. Drzyzga A, Cichoń T, Czapla J, Jarosz-Biej M, Pilny E, Matuszczak S, Wojcieszek T, Urbaś Z, Smolarczyk R. (2021): The Proper Administration Sequence of Radiotherapy and Anti-Vascular Agent—DMXAA Is Essential to Inhibit the Growth of Melanoma Tumors. Cancers. 13, 3924.
  3. Motais B , Charvátová S , Walek Z, Hrdinka M, Smolarczyk R, Cichoń T, Czapla J, Giebel S,  Šimíček M, Jelínek T, Ševčíková T, Sobotka J, Kořístek Z, Hajek R, Bagó JR. (2021): Selection, Expansion, and Unique Pretreatment of Allogeneic Human Natural Killer Cells with Anti-CD38 monoclonal Antibody for Efficient Multiple Myeloma Treatment. Cells, 10, 967.
  4. Czapla J, Cichoń T, Pilny E, Jarosz-Biej M, Matuszczak S, Drzyzga A, Krakowczyk Ł, Smolarczyk R. (2020): Adipose tissue-derived stromal cells stimulated macrophages-endothelial cells interactions promote effective ischemic muscle neovascularization. Eur J Pharmacol. 883:173354.
  5. Jarosz-Biej M, Smolarczyk R, Cichoń T, Drzyzga A, Czapla J, Urbaś Z, Pilny E, Matuszczak S, Wojcieszek P. (2020): Brachytherapy in a single dose of 10Gy as an “in situ” vaccination. Int J Mol Sci. 21:E4585.
  6. Was H, Cichon T, Smolarczyk R, Lackowska B, MazurBialy A, Mazur M, Szade A, Dominik P, Mazan M, Kotlinowski J, Zebzda A, Kusienicka A, Kieda C, Dulak J, Jozkowicz A. (2020): Effect of Heme Oxygenase-1 on Melanoma Development in Mice-Role of TumorInfiltrating Immune Cells. Antioxidants. 9:E1223.
  7. Czapla J, Matuszczak S, Kulik K, Wiśniewska E, Pilny E, Jarosz-Biej M, Smolarczyk R, Sirek T, Zembala MO, Zembala M, Szala S, Cichoń T. (2019): The effect of culture media on large-scale expansion and characteristic of adipose tissue-derived mesenchymal stromal cells. Stem Cell Res Ther. 10:e235
  8. Janus P, Mrowiec K, Vydra N, Widłak P, Toma-Jonik A, Korfanty J, Smolarczyk R, Widłak W. (2019): PHLDA1 does not contribute directly to heat shock-induced apoptosis of spermatocytes. Int J Mol Sci. 21:E267.
  9. Jarosz-Biej M, Smolarczyk R, Cichoń T, Kułach N. (2019): Tumor microenvironment as a “Game Changer” in cancer radiotherapy. Int J Mol Sci. 20:E3212.
  10. Jelonek K, Kasperczyk J, Li S, Nguyen THN, Orchel A, Chodurek E, Paduszyński P, Jaworska-Kik M, Chrobak E, Bębenek E, Boryczka S, Jarosz-Biej M, Smolarczyk R, Foryś A. (2019): Bioresorbable filomicelles for targeted delivery of betulin derivative – in vitro study. Int J Pharm. 557:43-52.
  11. Pilny E, Smolarczyk R, Jarosz-Biej M, Hadyk A, Skorupa A, Ciszek M, Krakowczyk Ł, Kułach N, Gillner D, Sokół M, Szala S, Cichoń T. (2019): Human ADSC xenograft through IL-6 secretion activates M2 macrophages responsible for the repair of damaged muscle tissue. Stem Cell Res Ther. 10:e93.
  12. Skorupa A, Ciszek M, Pilny E, Smolarczyk R, Jarosz-Biej M, Boguszewicz Ł, Krakowczyk Ł, Szala S, Sokół M, Cichoń T. (2019): Monitoring of diffusion properties and transverse relaxation time of mouse ischaemic muscle after administration of human mesenchymal stromal cells derived from adipose tissue. Cell Prolif. 52:e12672.
  13. Jarosz-Biej M, Kamińska N, Matuszczak S, Cichoń T, Pamuła-Piłat J, Czapla J, Smolarczyk R, Skwarzyńska D, Kulik K, Szala S. (2018): M1-like macrophages change tumor blood vessels and microenvironment in murine melanoma. PLoS One. 13:e0191012.
  14. Jelonek K, Kasperczyk J, Li S, Nguyen THN, Orchel A, Chodurek E, Paduszyński P, Jaworska-Kik M, Chrobak E, Bębenek E, Boryczka S, Jarosz-Biej M, Smolarczyk R, Foryś A. (2018): Bioresorbable filomicelles for targeted delivery of betulin derivative – In vitro study. Int J Pharm. 557:43-52.
  15. Smolarczyk R, Cichoń T, Pilny E, Jarosz-Biej M, Poczkaj A, Kułach N, Szala S. (2018): Combination of antivascular agent – DMXAA and HIF-1α inhibitor – digoxin inhibits the growth of melanoma tumors. Sci Rep. 8:7355.
  16. Czapla J, Matuszczak S, Wiśniewska E, Jarosz-Biej M, Smolarczyk R, Cichoń T, Głowala-Kosińska M, Śliwka J, Garbacz M, Szczypior M, Jaźwiec T, Langrzyk A, Zembala M, Szala S. (2016): Human cardiac mesenchymal stromal cells with CD105+CD34- phenotype enhance the function of post-infarction heart in mice. PLoS One. 11:e0158745.
  17. Kamysz E, Smolarczyk R, Cichoń T, Jarosz-Biej M, Sikorska E, Sobocińska M, Jaśkiewicz M, Kamysz W. (2016): Antitumor activity of opiorphin, sialorphin and their conjugates with a peptide klaklakklaklak. J Pept Sci. 22:723-730.
  18. Jarosz-Biej M, Smolarczyk R, Cichoń T, Kułach N, Czapla J, Matuszczak S, Szala S. (2015): Combined tumor cell-based vaccination and Interleukin-12 gene therapy polarizes the tumor microenvironment in mice. Arch Immunol Ther Ex. 63:451-64.
  19. Szala S, Jarosz-Biej M, Cichoń T, Smolarczyk R, Sochanik A. (2015): Polarization of tumor milieu: therapeutic implications. N. Rezaei (ed.), Cancer Immunology: Bench to Bedside Immunotherapy of Cancers. Chapter 22, pp. 401-408. Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015.
  20. Toma-Jonik A, Widlak W, Korfanty J, Cichon T, Smolarczyk R, Gogler-Piglowska A, Widlak P, Vydra N. (2015): Active heat shock transcription factor 1 supports migration of the melanoma cells via vinculin downregulation. Cell Signal. 27:394-401.
  21. Cichoń T, Smolarczyk R, Matuszczak S, Barczyk M, Jarosz M, Szala S. (2014): D-K6L 9 Peptide combination with IL-12 inhibits the recurrence of tumors in mice. Arch Immunol Ther Exp. 62: 341-51.
  22. Ciomber A, Smagur A, Mitrus I, Cichoń T, Smolarczyk R, Sochanik A, Szala S, Jarosz M. (2014): Antitumor effects of recombinant antivascular protein ABRaAVEGF121 combined with IL-12 gene therapy. Arch Immunol Ther Exp. 62:161-68.
  23. Frąckowiak-Wojtasek B, Gąsowska-Bajger B, Mazurek M, Raniszewska A, Logghe M, Smolarczyk R, Cichoń T, Szala S, Wojtasek H. (2014): Synthesis and analysis of activity of a potential anti-melanoma prodrug with a hydrazine linker. Eur J Med Chem. 71:98-104.
  24. Matuszczak S, Czapla J, Jarosz-Biej M, Wiśniewska E, Cichoń T, Smolarczyk R, Kobusińska M, Gajda K, Wilczek P, Sliwka J, Zembala M, Zembala M, Szala S. (2014): Characteristic of c-Kit+ progenitor cells in explanted human hearts. Clin Res Cardiol. 103:711-8.
  25. Jarosz M, Jazowiecka-Rakus J, Cichoń T, GłowalaKosińska M, Smolarczyk R, Smagur A, Malina S, Sochanik A, Szala S. (2013): Therapeutic antitumor potential of endoglin-based DNA vaccine combined with immunomodulatory agents. Gene Ther. 20:262-273.
  26. Wilczek PM, Zembala M, Zembala M, Mzyk A, Cichoń T, Smolarczyk R. (2013): Cardiac stem and progenitor cells as a potential therapeutic agent for the treatment of damaged cardiac muscle. Pol J Thor Cardiovasc Surg. 10:51–61.
  27. Cichoń T, Jarosz M, Smolarczyk R, Ogórek B, Matuszczak S mgr, Wagner M, Mitrus I, Sochanik A, Jazowiecka-Rakus J, Szala S. (2012): Vasostatin increases oxygenation of B16-F10 melanoma tumors and raises therapeutic efficacy of cyclophosphamide. Acta Biochim Pol. 59:377-381.
  28. Smolarczyk R, Cichoń T, Jarosz M, Szala S. (2012): HMGB1 – its role in tumor progression and anticancer therapy. Post Hig Med Dosw. 66:913-920.
  29. Smolarczyk R, Cichoń T, Matuszczak S, Mitrus I, Lesiak M, Kobusińska M, Kamysz W, Jarosz M, Sieroń A, Szala S. (2012): The role of glycyrrhizin, an inhibitor of HMGB1 protein, in anticancer therapy. Arch Immunol Ther Exp. 60: 391-399.
  30. Szala S, Jarosz M, Smolarczyk R, Cichoń T. (2012): “Vicious circles” of glioblastoma tumors: vascularization and invasiveness. Post Hig Med Dosw. 66:888-900.