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  1. Systems Oncology

    The general interest of the Systems Oncology group is to understand how non-tumor cells contribute to tumor initiation, growth and metastasis. More than focusing on specific tumor types, the projects in the group aim in investigating the biological systems that support oncologic disease. For instance, by releasing soluble factors and/or extracellular vesicles, tumor cells can induce phenotypic modifications of stromal cells locally and at future sites of tumor dissemination (also known as pre-metastatic niches), which support tumor growth and metastasis. Extracellular vesicles isolated from liquid biopsies (such as plasma and other body fluids) are emerging as a powerful non-invasive and abundant source of information not only about tumor cells, but also potentially about how non-tumor cells respond/interact with malignant cells. By using animal models of tumor initiation, progression and metastasis, in combination with thorough analysis of extracellular vesicle composition isolated from patients with diverse clinical profiles, we intend to characterize novel cellular and molecular determinants of cancers.

Key publications

  • Joana Maia, Sergio Caja, Maria Carolina Strano Moraes, Nuno Couto, and Bruno Costa-Silva (2018) Exosome-Based Cell-Cell Communication in the Tumor Microenvironment. Front. Cell Dev. Biol. 6 (18)
  • Nuno Couto, Sergio Caja, Joana Maia, Maria Carolina Strano Moraes, Bruno Costa-Silva (2018) Exosomes as emerging players in cancer biology Biochimie epub (epub)
  • Hector Peinado, Haiying Zhang, Irina R. Matei, Bruno Costa-Silva, Ayuko Hoshino, Goncalo Rodrigues, Bethan Psaila, Rosandra N. Kaplan, Jacqueline F. Bromberg, Yibin Kang, Mina J. Bissell, Thomas R. Cox, Amato J. Giaccia, Janine T. Erler, Sachie Hiratsuka, (2017) Pre-metastatic niches: organ-specific homes for metastases. Nat. Rev. Cancer 17 , 302-317
  • Hoshino A, Costa-Silva B, Shen TL, Rodrigues G, Hashimoto A, Tesic Mark M, Molina H, Kohsaka S, Di Giannatale A, Ceder S, Singh S, Williams C, Soplop N, Uryu K, Pharmer L, King T, Bojmar L, Davies AE, Ararso Y, Zhang T, Zhang H, Hernandez J, Weiss JM, Dum (2015) Tumour exosome integrins determine organotropic metastasis. Nature 527 (7578), 329-335
  • Costa-Silva B, Aiello NM, Ocean AJ, Singh S, Zhang H, Thakur BK, Becker A, Hoshino A, Mark MT, Molina H, Xiang J, Zhang T, Theilen TM, García-Santos G, Williams C, Ararso Y, Huang Y, Rodrigues G7, Shen TL, Labori KJ, Lothe IM, Kure EH, Hernandez J, Dousso (2015) Pancreatic cancer exosomes initiate pre-metastatic niche formation in the liver. Nat. Cell Biol. 17 (6), 816-826