Mena Means Metastasis

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Submitted by Madeleine J. Oudin in the Gertler Lab at the Koch Institute

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Madeleine J. Oudin
Gertler Lab, Koch Institute
Deconvolution Miscroscopy

"This image shows the presence of MenaINV in green, a protein which is known to drive metastasis. The main cause of mortality among breast cancer patients is the spread of the disease from the primary tumor in the breast to other organs in the body, a process known as metastasis.  Being able to visualize and characterize MenaINV expression within the tumor environment in patient sample cohorts represents a significant step forward in understanding its role in metastasis, but also towards developing its use as a biomarker.  

Individual cells are marked in blue. MenaINV is present in the round organized structures of the breast as well as in the tumor mass forming in the bottom left corner of the image. The red structures are blood vessels located in the vicinity of the tumor, which will facilitate the spread of the cancer from the primary tumor to other organs in the body. This patient has a highly aggressive form of breast cancer and displays high levels of MenaINV in the ductal and lobular structures of the breast, located in proximity to blood vessels."