Recent research shows that the number of circulating tumor cells (CTC) in blood is an independent prognostic factor for evaluating patients’ survival at every stage of cancer disease’s development. It is not exactly known what tumor-related factors affect the number of CTC and why the number of CTC is so strongly related to survival. The mechanisms of how associated vascular factors influence tumor dissemination and the number of CTC are not completely understood. By histomorphological analysis of tumors we have recently found that the number and the structure of the vessels in a tumor is a better predictor of tumor dissemination and CTC than tumor size. It is believed that VEGF and PDGF are the main factors controlling vascular stability in tumors, however the contribution of other important factors in relation to the dissemination of CTC has not been evaluated. Research runned by dr Religa team will determine how tumor-related factors can be used in diagnostics and treatment of cancer.
The mouse models of labelled tumor implantation and genetic mouse model for colorectal and breast cancer are in – strumental to study the influence of vascular related factors on CTC and formation of metastasis. The CTC are correlated with tumor vascular structure and expressions of growth factors/chemokines affecting vascular structure and tumor dissemination in order to find relationship between vascular characteristic and CTCs. The new techniques such as R aman microscopy and magnetic catheter will be used for diagnostic of cancer and CTC.
Moreover, dr Religas’s team will apply our research to analysis ofhistological clinical material and clinical factors remaining in relationship with CTC in colon cancer in order to find clinical relevance.
The scientific outcome of this proposal has the potential to build new strategies and guidelines for diagnostics and treatment of cancer.