Slater lab awarded NIH funds to develop new tissue-engineered device to mimic organ-specific breast cancer metastasis patterns

Metastasis, which is the development of a malignant growth somewhere in the body other than the primary tumor site, is responsible for 90 percent of cancer-related deaths.

“This statistic indicates the need for a better understanding of what drives metastasis as well as new therapies targeted specifically toward preventing and eliminating metastases,” says John Slater, assistant professor of biomedical engineering at the University of Delaware.

Slater explains that cells originating from breast tumors display distinct metastasis patterns and often hone specifically to lung, brain, or bone.

Once a distant tissue is infiltrated, these cells can become active and form secondary tumors quickly, or they can lie dormant before reverting to an actively proliferating state to form secondary tumors.

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