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Cancer Biology

How Do Tumors Grow and Spread?

Important steps during cancer progression are tumor growth and subsequent metastasis.  During tumor growth, normal cellular pathways that prevent growth and protect genome integrity are often blocked due to mutations.  Conversely, pro-growth pathways are usually hyper-activated, often by acquired and, in some cases, congenital mutations.  As the tumor grows, hypoxia induces the expression of growth factors that stimulate blood vessel formation into and around the tumor, further promoting growth.  Subsequently, normal cell-cell interactions between the tumor and surrounding tissues and immune cells begin to breakdown, leading to invasion and eventual metastasis to distant sites. MCCB researchers focus on a number of different steps in tumor progression and metastasis, using both disease and developmental models.  Research includes studies on how genome integrity is maintained and, when it is not, how transformed cells may compensate to survive and grow.  MCCB labs also investigate how tumor cells interact with their local environment and how new blood vessels grow in both normal and disease settings.

Our PIs that are conducting research in the area of Cancer Biology:

Jennifer Benanti

Sharon Cantor

Dohoon Kim

Art Mercurio

Marcus Ruscetti

Leslie Shaw

Karl Simin