About the Webinar
Metastasis accounts for the majority of all cancer deaths, yet the process remains poorly understood. A pivotal step in the metastasis process is the exiting of tumor cells from the circulation, a process known as extravasation. However, it is unclear how tumor cells extravasate and whether multicellular clusters of tumor cells possess the ability to exit as a whole or must first disassociate. In this study, we use in vivo zebrafish and mouse models to elucidate the mechanism tumor cells use to extravasate. We found that circulating tumor cells exit the circulation using the recently identified extravasation mechanism, Angiopellosis, and do so as both clusters and individual cells. We further show that when melanoma and cervical cancer cells utilize this extravasation method to exit as clusters, they exhibit an increased ability to form tumors at distant sites through the expression of unique genetic profiles. Collectively, we present a new model for tumor cell extravasation of both individual and multicellular circulating tumor cells.
About the Presenter
Dr. Tyler A. Allen, Ph.D, is a research scientist who lives in Raleigh, NC. He earned B.S. degrees from North Carolina State University (NCSU) in Molecular/Cellular Biology, and Plant Biology. He completed his PhD studies in Comparative Biomedical Sciences, at the NCSU College of Veterinary Medicine. As a PhD student, he was part of the team that discovered a novel mechanism certain cells employ to exit blood vessels, termed Angiopellosis, as well as the recent discovery of how certain tumor cells utilize this method to metastasize – a finding known as the “cancer exodus hypothesis”. His research has been funded/supported by the National Cancer Institute (NCI), GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), and GENEWIZ. Currently, he is a postdoctoral scientist working at Duke University, in Durham, NC, studying cancer metastasis and health disparities.