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a Frontiers of Cancer Research Presentation!

Published Thu Jan 21st 2016

Thursday 28 Jan/16 at 4:00 pm in QCRI Conf Rms 100/01! Dr. Sheila Singh, Scientist, McMaster Stem Cell & Cancer Research Inst. (SSC-RI), Associate Professor, Dept. of Surgery, Division of Neurosurgery, McMaster University (Hamilton, ON). "TWIST2 and SPOCK1 regulate human lung-to-brain metastasis". Brain Metastases (BM) represent a leading cause of cancer mortality. While metastatic lesions contain subclones derived from their primary lesion, their functional characterization has been limited by a paucity of preclinical models accurately recapitulating the stages of metastasis. This work describes our novel patient-derived xenograft (PDX) model of BM. By comprehensively interrogating human BM using in vitro and in vivo RNA interference screens, we identified SPOCK1 and TWIST2 as novel regulators of tumor initiation, self-renewal, and metastasis. A prospective cohort of primary lung cancer specimens was used to establish that SPOCK1 and TWIST2 were only expressed in patients who ultimately developed BM, thus establishing both clinical and functional utility for these gene products. Thus, our preclinical model of human BM fully recapitulates the multi-step metastatic process that can be used to identify genetic regulators of this process and putative predictive biomarkers of human BM, a disease that remains uniformly fatal.

Host: Dr. Lois Mulligan (mulligal@queensu.ca; x 77475)

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