Periodic Reporting for period 4 - HOLDING-HANDS (Holding hands: cell-cell junctions in breast cancer metastasis and resistance to therapy)
Reporting period: 2020-09-01 to 2021-02-28
The development of cancer metastasis accounts for more than 90% of cancer-related deaths. This project has been focused on the issue of cancer metastasis and on the identification of new treatment to suppress it. Specifically, we recently found that clusters of circulating tumor cells (CTC-clusters) - multicellular aggregates that detach from the primary tumor and enter the bloodstream, on their way to seed metastasis elsewhere - are highly efficient metastatic effectors in breast cancer. Our project has been focused on finding methods to disrupt CTC-clusters and as a consequence, suppress the development of metastasis.
(2) Why is it important for society?
The development of cancer metastasis from various cancer types is responsible for more than 7 million deaths per year worldwide. Targeting CTC-clusters might reduce or suppress metastasis formation and be beneficial to a large number of patients with metastatic cancers.
(3) What are the overall objectives?
Our project has been designed to identify and target cell-cell junction components that are required for the formation and maintenance of CTC-clusters. We also aimed at identifying FDA-approved compounds whose net effect is to disrupt CTC-clusters. Overall, our objectives are focused on the identification of a CTC-cluster-suppressing therapy.