The Tumour Cell Biology Group is focused on trying to understand why and how cancer cells spread through the body.
In particular, we are interested in the role of stromal cells within the tumour and how cancer cells move through the extensively remodelled tumour extra-cellular matrix.
YAP function is required for CAFs to promote matrix stiffening, cancer cell invasion and angiogenesis. Endothelial cells are also a key component of the tumour microenvironment. The tumour vasculature is a key part of the microenvironment, providing oxygen and metabolites to the tumour cells.
Melda used the model to predict how cancer cells migrate into the discontinuous collagen matrix that surrounds tumours and the effect of different combinations of kinase inhibitors and integrin depletion in vivo.
In addition to these studies, we are actively pursuing analysis of collective invasion of lobular breast cancers, the role of direct cell-cell contact between cancer cells and CAFs, intravital imaging of CAF signalling and the interplay between CAFs and chemotherapy.