Complication of metastasis, the process in which cells detach from the primary tumor to form new distant tumor sites, is the primary reason why women die from breast cancer. The metastatic behavior of tumor cells is highly dependent on the cell’s intrinsic characteristics and on the tumor microenvironment, such as stromal cells and the extracellular matrix. We study both by combining conditional mouse models that recapitulate human breast tumors and intravital imaging techniques (high resolution imaging of metastasis in living animals in real time). By these experiments we hope to indentify new drug targets that combined with current clinical approaches may lead to new therapies.
About the research
About the group
"Kijken naar kanker" - Spying on cancer!
This movie by the Netherlands Genomics Initiative, the Netherlands Cancer Institute, the University Medical Center Utrecht and the Hubrecht Institute, visualizes malicious cancer cells during their journey
Selected recent key publications
Ritsma L, Steller EJA, Ellenbroek SIJ, Kranenburg O, Borel Rinkes IHM, van Rheenen J (in press) Surgical implantation of the Abdominal Imaging Window for intravital microscopy. Nat. Protoc.
Zomer A, Ellenbroek IJH, Ritsma L, Beerling E, Vrisekoop N, van Rheenen J (2012) Intravital Imaging of Cancer Stem Cell Plasticity in Mammary Tumors. Stem Cells, Dec 7 [Epub ahead of print].
Ritsma, L.*, Steller, E.J.A.*, Beerling, E., Loomans, C.J.M., Zomer, A., Gerlach, C., Vrisekoop, N., Seinstra, D., van Gurp, L., Schäfer, R., Raats, D.A., de Graaff, A. Schumacher, T.N., de Koning, E.J.P. Borel Rinkes, I.H., Kranenburg, O. van Rheenen, J. (2012) Intravital Microscopy Through an Abdominal Imaging Window Reveals a Pre-Micrometastasis Stage During Liver Metastasis. Sci Transl Med 4, 158ra145.
Jalink K, van Rheenen, J (2010) Nano-imaging of membrane topography affects interpretations in cell biology. Nat. Meth. 7:486.
Snippert HJ, van der Vlier LG, Sato T, van Es JH, van der Born M, Kroen-Veenboer C, Barker N, Klein AM, van Rheenen J, Simons BD, Clevers H. (2010) Intestinal crypt homeostasis results from neutral competition between symmetrically dividing Lgr5 stem cells, Cell, 143(1): 134-144.
Kedrin, K., Gligorijevic, B., Wyckoff, J., Verkhusha, V.V., Condeelis, J., Segall, J.E., van Rheenen, J. (2008) Intravital imaging of metastatic behavior through a mammary imaging window. Nat. Meth. 5: 1019-1021. Highlighted in Nature 456: 850.