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RNA, tumor microenvironment and metastasis

Tumor-metastatic niche crosstalk

Metastasis is the main reason behind cancer-related mortality, with limited therapeutic opportunities currently available. This is mostly due to an early dissemination of cancer cells to distant organs, long before the apparent metastases can be detected. Various cancer types differ in their ability to metastasize to different organs which has led to a “seed and soil” hypothesis, and established the concepts of tumor microenvironment and metastatic niche. However, due to complicated detection and modeling of the metastatic niche in mouse models, our understanding of the tumor-metastatic niche crosstalk remains incomplete.

In our lab, we combine human pluripotent stem cell-derived organoids and functional genomics techniques, including at a single cell resolution, to study RNA regulatory networks underlying the establishment of the pro-metastatic tumor microenvironment and the metastatic niche.

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