Northwestern Events Calendar


Biology and Vulnerabilities of Circulating Tumor Cells

When: Monday, December 9, 2019
2:00 PM - 3:00 PM  

Where: Ward Building, Room 5-230, 303 E. Chicago Avenue, Chicago, IL 60611 map it

Audience: Faculty/Staff - Student - Public - Post Docs/Docs - Graduate Students

Contact: Lexi Nash   312.503.4893

Group: Department of Pharmacology Seminars

Category: Lectures & Meetings


Nicola Aceto, Ph.D.
SNSF Assistant Professor of Oncology
Cancer Metastasis Laboratory
Department of Biomedicine
University of Basel and University Hospital Basel

Abstract: Circulating tumor cells (CTCs) are key players in the metastatic process. With a combination of microfluidic technologies and single cell-resolution molecular analysis applied to breast cancer patients and mouse models, we gained fundamental insights into the biology and vulnerabilities of CTCs. For instance, we found that physical features such as their ability to form multicellular CTC clusters enable molecular changes that promote stemness and metastasis, allowing us to define new treatments to suppress metastatic spread, including the use of ion channel inhibitors. Further, we investigated CTC heterogeneity at the single cell level, revealing fundamental interactions that occur between CTCs and immune cells and that accelerate metastasis formation. Thus, our findings support a model whereby CTCs form multicellular aggregates with each other as well as with immune cells to expand their metastatic potential, providing a new rationale for targeting these interactions in breast cancer.

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