Research @ Mani Lab
Metastasis remain the ultimate cause of cancer related d eath. Carcinoma cells, which are initially confined to the primary tumor site by the continued expression of cell-ce ll adhesion molecules, acquire metastatic properties by activating a latent embryonic program, known as epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT). Through EMT, cancer cell acquires mesenchymal morphology, increased migration, invasion and stem cell properties. The stem cell propert ies help cancer cells to recreate tumor histopathologically similar to their tissue of origin at the metastatic sit e. At present, our laboratory is investigating the biology of metastasis at the molecular level and developing ways to diagnose and treat metastasis.
- Understand the biology of EMT program at the cellular and molecular level using cancer cells, syngenic mouse xenografts, patient-derived xenografts (PDX) and transgenic mouse models
- Identify and characterize cancer cells undergone EMT either within the primary tumor or within blood by monitoring circulating tumor cells (CTCs) for diagnostic and therapeutic monitoring
- Develop small molecule inhibitors to inhibit EMT and Cancer Stem Cell properties for treating metastasis and preventing or treating the development of therapy resistance