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Circulating Tumor Cells and the Process of Metastasis
Spain (IFMSA-SPAIN)-University of Santiago de Compostela, Santiago de Compostela
Translational Oncology Laboratory,and Health and Research Institute of Santiago
Dr. Miguel Abal
Dr. Miguel Abal
English, Spanish, French
Type of Research Project
- Clinical Project with Laboratory work
What is the background of the project?
Cancer spread relies on the detachment of aggressive malignant cells from the primary tumour into the bloodstream as the principal source of the further metastasis (Hanahan D. & Weinberg RA. Hallmarks of cancer: the next generation. Cell 2011;144(5):646-74). It is widely accepted that only a small subpopulation of these Circulating Tumour Cells (CTC) own and/or acquire the ability to evade the host immune system and to reach a distant target organ, where they establish a secondary tumour growth site, leading to the formation of metastatic disease (Oppenheimer SB. Cellular basis of cancer metastasis: A review of fundamentals and new advances. Acta Histochem 2006;108(5):327-34). Concordantly, the presence of CTC in peripheral blood has been associated with poor prognosis in different types of cancer.
What is the aim of the project?
In the Translational Oncology Laboratory at the University Hospital of Santiago, we are developing a new concept on drug discovery based on the specific and massive molecular profiling of the CTC population isolated from the blood of oncology patients with metastatic disease. The student will be involved in the isolation procedure of the CTC population from patients; in the molecular analysis of the CTC population; bioinformatics for the interpretation of the molecular data; and high-throughput screening in in vitro assays for the identification of compounds targeting the CTC population and aiming to eradicate the source of metastasis.
What techniques and methods are used?
- basic laboratory techniques (cell culture, molecular biology, western blot, RNA/DNA processing, RealTime PCR, ...) - molecular and cellular characterisation of CTC (bioinformatics, cell functional assays as migration, invasion, clonogenic) - optimization and scaling of cellular assays for high-throughput screening.
What is the role of the student?
- If the project includes “lab work”
- the student will take active part in the practical aspect of the project
- The tasks will be done under supervision
What are the tasks expected to be accomplished by the student?
The student will learn the basic processes of the laboratory. Moreover he / she will be able to understand basic knowledges about CTCs.
Will there be any theoretical teaching provided (preliminary readings, lectures, courses, seminars etc)
What is expected from the student at the end of the research exchange? What will be the general outcome of the student?
- The student will prepare a scientific report
What skills are required of the student? Is there any special knowledge or a certain level of studies needed?
Minimal knowledge of lab routine (for example: solution preparation, calculate concentrations
Are there any legal limitations in the student’s involvement
Type of students accepted
This project accepts: - Medical students - Graduated students (less than 6 months) - Pre-Medical students from the American-British system
- Hanahan D. & Weinberg RA. Hallmarks of cancer: the next generation. Cell 2011;144(5):646-74
- Mostert B; Sieuwerts AM; Martens JW; Sleijfer S. Diagnostic applications of cell-free and circulating tumor cell-associated miRNAs in cancer patients. Expert Rev Mol Diagn. 2011 Apr;11(3):259-75. Review.
- Oppenheimer SB. Cellular basis of cancer metastasis: A review of fundamentals and new advances. Acta Histochem 2006;108(5):327-34
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