Tumor cell metastasis to the regional or draining lymph nodes (LN) is the primary indicator of tumor aggressiveness. Tumor cells lodged in nodes acquire significant vulnerabilities that enable them to evade therapy. In addition, expansion of the vasculature near the primary tumor bed activates multiple pathways that induce lymphangiogenesis and angiogenesis. The primary research focus of my laboratory is to determine how an inflammatory tumor-lymphatic microenvironment contributes to cancer metastasis and progression by reprograming molecular pathways in a) primary tumor niche and b) metastatic tumor draining LNs. We use tumor-LEC 3D spheroids, orthotopic tumor models and clinical samples to evaluate the tumor-lymphatic crosstalk in different solid tumors. In addition, we are also interested in delineating the role of the microbiota and specific tryptophan metabolites in cancer progression, tumor associated lymphangiogenesis and alterations to the metastatic node.