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Molecular Oncology Programme

Microenvironment & Metastasis Group

Group Leader:  Hector Peinado

Our laboratory is focused on understanding metastatic progression. During this process, tumour cells communicate actively with the tumour microenvironment. Among all factors involved in metastasis, our laboratory is specifically interested in defining the role of secreted exosomes during pre-metastatic niche formation. Exosomes are actively involved in cell-cell communication during both physiological and pathological processes. Our data support that tumour-secreted exosomes are involved in: 1) pre-metastatic niche formation and metastatic organotropism depending on the integrin expression profile on their surface; and 2) stromal cell reprogramming by horizontal transfer of molecules (i.e. oncoprotein c-MET) and/or influencing the expression of pro-inflammatory and pro-vasculogenic molecules.