Welcome to the Mani lab!
Despite the advancement in cancer diagnosis and treatment options, metastatic progression is still detrimental due to the lack of effective targeted treatments, and accounts for more than 90 percent of cancer related deaths. We have demonstrated that cancer cells at the primary tumor site activate the latent embryonic program epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT). Through the activation of EMT, tumor cells, acquire mesenchymal morphology, increased migratory and invasive properties and become cancer stem cells (CSCs). The combination of increased mesenchymal and stem cell properties creates cancer cells with plasticity and adaptability allowing for high metastatic competence and induction of therapy resistance.
Our lab is dedicated to investigating the biology of EMT and identifying the drivers of the CSC phenotype. We are determined to identify resistance mechanisms and develop strategies to prevent and overcome therapy resistance and metastatic progression through the use of preclinical models and profiling patient tumor samples on the single cell level. Our ultimate goal is, by target the EMT-signaling pathways and treating metastasis, to cure cancer patients regardless of their stage.