The Department of Biological Sciences is pleased to present a seminar by Zachary T. Schafer, Coleman Assistant Professor of Cancer Biology at the University of Notre Dame. The talk, “Tumor cell survival during detachment from the extracellular matrix: The Achilles’ heel of the cancer metastasis?” will take place on Tuesday, September 23 at 4pm in 283 Galvin Life Science.
Metastasis, the spread of cancer from the site of the primary tumor to distant locations in the body, is responsible for 90% of cancer deaths, yet the molecular mechanisms governing this extraordinarily complicated process remain poorly understood. It has become clear that an important barrier to metastasis is the induction of anoikis, a cell death process that is induced when epithelial cells lose attachment ot the extracellular matrix (ECM). During the course of tumor progression, cancer cells typically acquire resistance to anoikis, which can facilitate the spread of these cells to distant sites. In this talk, I will discuss recent process my lab has made in understanding the biological mechanisms that permit cancer cell survival in the absence of ECM attachment. It is our hope that a better understanding of these mechanisms will unveil novel chemotherapeutic strategies aimed at inducing anoikis in cancer cells and thereby restricting metastasis.
Originally published at biology.nd.edu.