Translational Oncology of Solid Tumors
Head of the Group
Prof. Dr. Ulrike Stein
31.1: Max Delbrück House (Hochbau)
Metastatic dissemination of primary tumors is directly linked to patient survival and critically limits successful therapy in many tumor entities. Our translational concepts aim at the identification of key molecules in tumor progression and metastasis for improved prognosis and therapy of solid cancers. We newly discovered the gene MACC1 (metastasis associated in colon cancer 1) and identified the metastasis inducer S100A4 as a Wnt signaling target gene. Transcriptional targets or protein binding partners thereof were found as new diagnostic, prognostic and predictive key players for tumor progression and metastasis. Biomarker development is done in established and patient-derived 3D cultures, cell line-derived and patient-derived xenograft (PDX) and newly generated genetically engineered mouse (GEMM) models. We exploit this knowledge for improved disease prognosis and treatment response prediction in tissue and blood of cancer patients. Novel therapeutic approaches are currently tested in clinical trials to treat patients with metastatic disease using small molecule inhibitors acting on these biomarkers.