Cellular invasive migration and cancer

Prof. Benjamin Geiger, Department of Molecular Cell Biology


Prof. Benjamin Geiger’s research focuses on the molecular mechanisms that control cellular adhesion and migration.  In a recent study that may help solve the puzzle of certain types of aggressive metastatic tumors, Prof. Benjamin Geiger and his team have revealed how invasive cancer cells can exhibit invasive group behavior, remaining “tethered” together during  the invasion process. Investigating a type of breast cancer cell that displays aggressive invasive properties, the scientists observed that, when they reached the migration stage, these cells stayed connected through long, stringy protrusions that allowed significant freedom of individual movement, but which ultimately ensured collective movement in a particular direction. They also identified a chemical signal that modulates this process. This line of research may reveal new molecular targets for future drugs designed to limit, or even eliminate metastasis.