Tracking Metastasis in a Living Tumor 1

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SubmittSubmitted by Madeleine Oudin, Oliver Jonas, and Jeff Wyckoff, Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research at MIT

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The extracellular matrix provides structural support in normal tissues, but many of its components, such as collagen (white) and fibronectin (FN) are present at very high levels in metastatic tumors. Here we show that certain tumor cells (green) are able to reorganize, respond to and move towards both collagen and fibronectin. We also show that this function is necessary for metastasis, the process by which cells from a primary tumor disseminate throughout the body via blood vessels and lymphatics, that is responsible for 90% of deaths in cancer patients.