A Healthier Wisconsin

Tumor Progression & Metastasis (TPM)

Supporting cancer-related basic, translational, and clinical research in imaging sciences and technology for improved diagnostic and therapeutic approaches

Full Project Name:Tumor Progression & Metastasis (TPM)Principal Investigator:Gustavo Leone, PhD, BiochemistryAward Amount:$4,451,345
Award Date
Project Duration:113 months

Project Description Narrative:

In 2016, the American Cancer Society and Wisconsin Division of Public Health estimated that 285,000 Wisconsin residents are living with a cancer diagnosis, a significant increase from 2013. While much of this increase is attributed to improved cancer screening rates, survivorship is also on the rise because of improved treatments, and the rate of cancer mortality in Wisconsin is falling. It is estimated that one-third of all cancer deaths would be prevented if no one smoked, and another third could be prevented if everyone maintained a healthy weight and active lifestyle.

Through this award, investigators aim to promote and support cancer-related basic, translational, and clinical research in imaging sciences and technology that result in improved diagnostic and therapeutic approaches.

Project Updates:

  • Published 96 articles to share research findings with the larger scientific community, with 51% representing interprogrammatic publications involving at least one TPM Program member

  • Supported seed grants to jumpstart collaborations among Cancer Center members and support future funding applications to outside agencies, including the National Institutes of Health

  • Expanded scientific expertise through recruitment of faculty

  • Faculty contributed to advancement of new knowledge:

    • Established an optical molecular imaging laboratory and facilities to use nanoparticles for cancer imaging and treatment (Amit Joshi, PhD)

    • Strengthened collaborations with Elekta, Siemens Healthcare, and Philips Healthcare in work to develop tools and approaches for MRI-guided radiation therapy (Eric Paulson, PhD)

    • Applied imaging technology to detect tumor cells that infiltrate nearby healthy tissue in both brain and prostate cancer and how brain tumors respond to recently approved drugs, leading to findings that patients with tumors showing a decrease in abnormal vessels categorized by imaging technology survived longer than those with an increase following treatment (Peter LaViolette, PhD)

    • Explored how the interaction of the cell surface receptor known as CXCR4 with its extracellular ligand CXCL12 activates intracellular signal transduction cascades that lead to cell survival, revealing that in addition to signaling initiated at the plasma membrane, signaling also occurs from an intracellular compartment that is distinct from the plasma membrane. This suggests that the signal instigated from this intracellular compartment promotes cell survival, which may be a contributing factor to cancer progression. (Adriano Marchese, PhD)

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