Premetastatic Niche

In collaboration with the Barman Laboratory, we are investigating molecular processes in the premetastatic niche. To this end, we are aiming to detect premetastatic changes in the lung microenvironment, in response to primary breast tumors, using a combination of metastatic mouse models, Raman spectroscopy, and multivariate analysis of consistent patterns in molecular expression. We have demonstrated that reliable distinctions in vibrational features, characteristic of the collageneous stroma and its cross-linkers as well as proteoglycans, which uniquely identify the metastatic potential of the primary tumor by recapitulating the compositional changes in the lungs. Consistent with histological assessment and gene expression analysis, our recent study suggests that remodeling of the extracellular matrix components may present promising markers for objective recognition of the premetastatic niche, independent of conventional clinical information.