Brain Metastasis Group
Centro Nacional de Investigaciones Oncológicas (CNIO)
DESCRIPTION OF THE OFFER
The student will join an ongoing effort in the lab to understand the microenvironment associated with brain metastasis. We are exploring the possibility that besides targeting cancer cells, additional opportunities might exist within altered brain cell types that have been remodelled by the growth of metastatic lesions. We hypothesize that such modifications within the microenvironment are responsible for the establishment of pro-metastatic niches in the brain that are required for the growth of cancer cells in this otherwise hostile "soil". We have found one subpopulation of glial cells induced de novo in seven experimental brain metastasis models and also in human brain metastasis samples. When targeted, it impairs very significant the viability of established brain metastasis suggesting a significant therapeutic potential. At the moment we are dissecting the molecular components of this pro-metastatic niche generated by this glial cell type, interrogating their effects within the cancer cells and other components of the brain metastasis microenvironment including the immune system, and developing novel technologies to functionally test in vivo identified mediators in order to rationalize novel therapies for this unmet clinical need. The master student will develop a project in collaboration with the postdoc who leads this study.
Biomolecules & Cell D.