Distinct routes to metastasis: plasticity-dependent and plasticity-independent pathways.


The cascade that culminates in macrometastases is thought to be mediated by phenotypic plasticity, including epithelial-mesenchymal and mesenchymal-epithelial transitions (EMT and MET). Although there is substantial support for the role of EMT in driving cancer cell invasion and dissemination, much less is known about the importance of MET in the later steps of metastatic colonization. We created novel reporters, which integrate transcriptional and post-transcriptional regulation, to test whether MET is required for metastasis in multiple in vivo cancer models. In a model of carcinosarcoma, metastasis occurred via an MET-dependent pathway; however, in two prostate carcinoma models, metastatic colonization was MET independent. Our results provide evidence for both MET-dependent and MET-independent metastatic pathways.






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Publication Info

Somarelli, JA, D Schaeffer, MS Marengo, T Bepler, D Rouse, KE Ware, AJ Hish, Y Zhao, et al. (2016). Distinct routes to metastasis: plasticity-dependent and plasticity-independent pathways. Oncogene, 35(33). pp. 4302–4311. 10.1038/onc.2015.497 Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/11682.

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Jason Andrew Somarelli

Assistant Professor in Medicine

Anne Frances Buckley

Associate Professor of Pathology

My basic research focus is on neurogenic stem cells and their involvement in brain development and brain tumors. I work in mouse models using inducible in vivo genetic systems, live imaging, and tissue culture, in addition to histological and biochemical methods.
My clinical research interests include neuromuscular diseases. I collaborate with colleagues at Duke on basic and translational research in this area.


Andrew John Armstrong

Professor of Medicine

I am a clinical and translational investigator focused on precision therapies and biomarkers in advanced prostate and other GU cancers.  I oversee a large research team of clinical and lab based investigators focused on improving patient outcomes, preventing metastatic disease, and understanding the biology of aggressive prostate cancer.  Some key themes:
1. Predictors of sensitivity and clinical efficacy of therapies in advanced prostate cancer
2. Novel designs of clinical trials and pharmacodynamic/translational studies in prostate, kidney, bladder cancer
3. Pre-operative models for drug development of novel agents in human testing in prostate cancer
4. Novel therapies and drug development for prostate, renal, bladder, and testicular cancer
5. Design of rational combination therapies in men with metastatic hormone-refractory prostate cancer
6. Developing prognostic and predictive models for progression and survival in metastatic prostate cancer
7. Examining surrogate markers of mortality in metastatic prostate cancer
8. Clear cell and non-clear cell renal cell carcinoma: natural history, sensitivity to novel agents including mTOR and VEGF inhibition


David Marc Virshup

Professor of Pediatrics

Wnt Signaling and Cancer Biology; Circadian Rhythms; Pediatric Hematology/Oncology

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