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Laboratory Studying
Metastatic Disease

Columbia University | Institute for Cancer Genetics

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Therapy-resistant lung cancer cells (in green) hiding in the brain (see white arrows). Blood vessels in red. See accompanying paper (Biswas et al., Cancer Discovery, 2022)

About Us

Our laboratory is focused on understanding the mechanisms of cancer progression and metastasis. Over 90% of cancer-related deaths in solid tumors are due to metastasis, which is the dissemination and growth of cancer cells in vital organs such as the lung, liver, bone, and brain. We investigate two main areas of metastasis biology- therapy resistance of metastatic tumors, and systemic effects of the metastatic disease such as cachexia, both of which contribute to the lethality observed in metastatic cancers.

(a) Therapy-resistance of metastatic tumors: Metastatic tumors are often therapy-resistant. Our laboratory explores how metastatic tumors become therapy-resistant and how we can better target metastatic tumors.


(b) Systemic effects of metastatic cancers- cachexia: During cancer progression, tumors systemically reprogram host physiology, metabolism, and immune responses. These systemic effects lead to a debilitating muscle-wasting syndrome, known as cachexia, which is observed in over 80% of metastatic cancers. Cachexia is associated with reduced tolerance to anti-neoplastic therapy,  poor prognosis, and accelerated death in metastatic cancer patients. We seek to understand the mechanisms that drive cachexia, and to develop strategies that can prevent or treat cachexia in metastatic cancer patients.

Highlights of our work are shown below.

Targeting drug resistance in metastatic lung cancer

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Targeting cachexia in metastatic cancers

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Lab Experiment

Selected Publications

For more publications, please visit our "Research & Publications" tab.

Feel free to click on the paperclip to access PDF versions of our publications.

Targeting S100A9-ALDH1A1-retinoic acid signaling to suppress brain relapse in EGFR-mutant lung cancer.

Biswas AK, Han S, Tai Y, Ma W, Coker C, Quinn SA, Shakri AR, Zhong TJ, Scholze H, Lagos GG, Mela A, Manova-Todorova K, de Stanchina E, Ferrando AA, Mendelsohn C, Canoll P, Yu HA, Paik PK, Saqi A, Shu CA, Kris MG, Massague J, Acharyya S. Cancer Discov. 2022 Jan 25:candisc.0910.2021.

PMID: 35078784. doi: 10.1158/2159-8290.CD-21-0910. Epub ahead of print.

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