How the secretion of small extracellular vesicles from cells promotes aggressive, invasive behavior and facilitates tumor growth and metastasis.
Cancer metastasis–the spread of cancer cells to distant organs–is what kills the majority of cancer patients. In order for cells to metastasize, they must acquire an invasive and motile phenotype, degrading and moving through tissue barriers. In addition, they must be able to survive and grow at distant sites in the body.
The Weaver laboratory studies all aspects of this process, focusing particularly on how deregulated signaling in cancer cells drives the invasive and metastatic phenotype.