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CTCs: advancing tools to combat metastasis

CTCs: advancing tools to combat metastasis

Distinguished Lecture Series in Experimental Therapeutics

Synopsis: The poor overall survival of metastatic cancer patients is in part caused by the lack of diagnostic tools for detection of metastatic disease in its nascent stage. This is particularly valid for breast cancer brain metastasis (BCBM), in which present-day diagnostic modalities do not identify micro-metastatic disease. While the enumeration of EpCAM-positive circulating tumor cells (CTCs) has allowed clinicians to estimate the overall metastatic burden,  a thorough understanding of CTCs associated with breast cancer brain metastasis (BCBM) is necessary for early identification and evaluation of treatment response to BCBM.  Deriving from our reports of a comprehensive analysis of CTC transcriptomes, we discovered a unique “CTC gene signature” that is distinct from primary breast cancer tissues. Dissection of the CTC gene signature identified signaling pathways associated with BCBM CTCs that may play roles potentiating BCBM.  These discoveries are impactful to develop novel CTC tests to be used either as screening tools for brain micro-metastasis detection in patients with no BCBM, or for making rational treatment decisions by monitoring therapeutic responses in patients diagnosed with BCBM.

Date: 2/21/18, 9am to 10:30am
Time: 2/21/18, 9am to 10:30am
Location: 4SCR1.1110
Format: Seminar/Conference
Speaker: Dr. Dario Marchetti
Speaker Bio: Dr. Marchetti is an internationally recognized authority in the field of circulating tumor cells (CTCs). CTCs and CTC-based biomarker signatures can be clinically useful tools for monitoring cancer progression in the patient in "real-time;" and for combating cancer metastasis for improved patient outcome as prime examples of precision medicine. With keen insights into the biology of brain metastasis, Dr. Marchetti pioneered models by discovering molecular determinants underlying brain metastasis and biomarker properties of brain metastasis-associated and brain-colonizing CTCs. As a consummate scientist, Dr. Marchetti’s bibliography include 180 publications of which 80 are in peer-reviewed journals in the fields of neuroscience and oncology. He has received numerous awards and secured uninterrupted funding since 1990 by receiving grants from federal, state, institutional and private agencies. He is a reviewer for the most prominent journals in cancer research and sits on editorial boards of “Cancer Microenvironment, “Vascular Cell”, "Clinical & Experimental Pathology", "International Journal of Oncology", “Cancer Letters”, “Journal of Cellular Biochemistry”, “Discovery/Discovery Reports” (a journal from Harvard Medical School) and "Cancer Metastasis Reviews" among others. Dr. Marchetti also acts as Guest Editor on a special tome on brain metastasis by the International Journal of Molecular Sciences (Basel, Switzerland) and an invited Editor on a special volum on CTCs by Frontiers Research Topic Oncology (Lausanne Switzerland). Further, he serves as standing member on grant reviewing panels of the National Institutes of Health of USA and Italy, the Department of Defense of the US, and is frequently invited as grant reviewer and consultant for multiple national and international agencies and pharma companies devoted to oncology research.
Contact: Roseann Martinez -