The goal of the Metastasis and Tumor Ecosystems Center at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center is to stimulate and facilitate research efforts on the causes, mechanisms, and treatments of metastasis.
Although metastasis has been recognized as a major problem for centuries, minimal progress has been made in identifying its genetic determinants, molecular mechanisms, and specific treatments. However, recent conceptual and technological advances are providing an unprecedented opportunity to address this problem. The MTEC will seize this opportunity by bringing metastasis research into focus.
Leveraging Institutional Strengths
Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center investigators are leading the way in discovering molecular mechanisms of metastasis. Research is focusing on the study of the metastasis process both as a whole and through its individual components, tumor angiogenesis and bone marrow-derived progenitors, cell motility, and adhesion, tumor microenvironment interactions, and cancer stem cells.
The MTEC aims at leveraging these strengths to facilitate their synergies. Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center is home to hosts an unsurpassed cadre of clinical expertise and resources, including oncologists with clinical experience in the metastasis of every major type of cancer; pathologists working on extensive collections of clinically annotated human tissue samples; surgeons who are able to procure clinical specimens for live-cell research; and imaging experts who provide cutting-edge technologies applicable to experimental metastasis models.
Maximizing Research Resources
Metastasis research requires access to fresh clinical samples (for example, malignant fluids, tumor and metastasis tissue samples, and circulating tumor cells) for the generation of live-cell suspensions, gene transduction research and animal inoculation studies. Protocols have been recently developed for these procedures.
- The MTEC aims at facilitating access to live-cell clinical samples for research.
- Research groups at Memorial Sloan Kettering are developing new techniques and experimental models for metastasis research (metastasis colonization assays, imaging applications, transendothelial and blood-brain barrier migration, and tumor microenvironment interactions).
- The MTEC aims at facilitating the sharing of experimental approaches for metastasis research. Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center has made a major investment in core facilities that are essential for modern metastasis research: genomics, molecular cytology, animal care, small animal imaging, and others.
Attracting New Talents and Resources
Metastasis is a problem of major medical and scientific importance. By showcasing metastasis research at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, the CMR will encourage stimulate new talents — from students to faculty members — to join in this endeavor.
MTEC seeks to attract additional clinical and laboratory investigators from within the institution as well as from the outside.