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Speaker: Aldo Di Vito, predoctoral researcher Translational Molecular Pathology (VHIR)
Metastasis, the process through which tumor cells can colonize distant tissues, represents the leading cause of cancer-related death, including in Gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GISTs). Even if metastasis is considered a promising target for pharmaceutical research, the molecular events behind GIST metastasis remain poorly known. Vargas-Accarino and colleagues (2021) have recently reported that certain adherent cell lines can give rise to floating but living cells in vitro by spontaneous detachment. These cells can newly re-attach and grow if seeded in a new plate, thus partially mimicking features of the metastatic cascade in vitro. We first observed that adherent metastatic GIST-T1 (unlike non-metastatic GIST-882 and GIST-48 lines), releases a small floating subpopulation that can similarly colonize a new cell culture plate. We are using this system as an in vitro model of GIST metastasis, in combination with proteomics analysis, in order to unveil the mechanisms that regulate the transition between adherent, floating, and re-adherent cells.
Summary of the in vitro “metastatic-like” process. “Metastatic-like” subclones activate an own and medium independent transition, detaching and becoming floating (detachment). Then, as demonstrated, they can survive (surviving) as floating cells and re-attach in a new dish assisted by the presence of fresh medium (re-attachment).
Short CV description:
I got my bachelor’s degree in biotechnologies sciences and my master’s degree in Pharmaceutical Biotechnologies at the University Federico II of Naples. Then I joined the R&D department of Bracco Imaging SpA and I worked as junior scientist for about five years. I am currently a PhD student in the Department of Pharmacology and Biotechnology at the University of Bologna. As Visiting Ph.D. Student I have recently joined the Translational Molecular Pathology laboratory here at Vall d’Hebron Institut de Recerca (VHIR), under the supervision of Dr. Trond Aasen. I have worked in the field of cancer research since the beginning of my career, being involved in projects focused on identifying novel diagnostic probes, therapeutic compounds and studying in vitro cancer metastasis.
Host: Dr. Trond Aasen, Main researcher, Translational Molecular Pathology (VHIR)
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