Tumor Progression and Metastasis

The group “Mechanisms of Tumor Progression and Metastasis” aims at elucidating the mechanisms of tumor growth and progression, with a special focus on the impact of the tumor micro-environment and the longitudinal in-vivo characterization by non-invasive imaging. Besides tumor staging and improved diagnosis, further attempts are directed to monitor therapy effects, including the evaluation of novel therapeutics. In-vivo imaging is complemented by histological and functional in-vitro analyses in order to validate the data and to identify new potential markers and targets.

Selected publications

Research Papers
  1. Lederle W, Linde N, Heusel J, Bzyl J, Woenne EC, Zwick S, Skobe M, Kiessling F, Fusenig NE, and Mueller MM. Platelet-derived growth factor-B normalizes micromorphology and vessel function in vascular endothelial growth factor-A-induced squamous cell carcinomas.Am J Pathol. 2010;176(2):981‑94.
  1. Abou-Elkacem L, Gremse F, Barth S, Hoffman RM, Kiessling F, and Lederle W. Comparison of μCT, MRI and optical reflectance imaging for assessing the growth of GFP/RFP-expressing tumors.Anticancer Res. 2011;31(9):2907‑13.
  1. Lederle W, Arns S, Rix A, Gremse F, Doleschel D, Schmaljohann J, Mottaghy FM, Kiessling F, and Palmowski M. Failure of annexin-based apoptosis imaging in the assessment of antiangiogenic therapy effects.EJNMMI Res. 2011;1(1):26.
  1. Doleschel D, Mundigl O, Wessner A, Gremse F, Bachmann J, Rodriguez A, Klingmüller U, Jarsch M, Kiessling F, and Lederle W. Targeted near-infrared imaging of the erythropoietin receptor in human lung cancer xenografts.J Nucl Med. 2012;53(2):304‑11.
  1. Abou-Elkacem L, Björn S, Doleschel D, Ntziachristos V, Schulz R, Hoffman RM, Kiessling F, and Lederle W. High accuracy of mesoscopic epi-fluorescence tomography for non-invasive quantitative volume determination of fluorescent protein-expressing tumours in mice.Eur Radiol. 2012;22(9):1955‑62.
  1. Bzyl J, Palmowski M, Rix A, Arns S, Hyvelin J, Pochon S, Ehling J, Schrading S, Kiessling F, and Lederle W. The high angiogenic activity in very early breast cancer enables reliable imaging with VEGFR2-targeted microbubbles (BR55).Eur Radiol. 2013;23(2):468‑75.


Reviews / Perspectives

  1. Lederle W, Palmowski M, and Kiessling F. Imaging in the age of molecular medicine: monitoring of anti-angiogenic treatments.Curr Pharm Biotechnol. 2012;13(4):595‑608.
  2. Kiessling F, Fokong S, Koczera P, Lederle W, and Lammers T. Ultrasound microbubbles for molecular diagnosis, therapy, and theranostics.J Nucl Med. 2012;53(3):345‑8.

Group members

Wa’el (MSc in Biomedical Engineering, RWTH Aachen University, 2009), funded by “NRW Ziel 2 EFRE, “ForSaTum” works on the combination of optical coherence tomography (OCT) and near-infrared optical tomography (NIRF-OT) for improved carcinoma diagnosis. His main focus is to analyze the matrix metalloproteinase (MMP) activity in different tumor stages by NIRF-OT and to evaluate the integrity of the basement membrane using OCT. In addition, he is involved in the development and testing of dual-modality contrast agents.

Susanne (BSc student in Molecular Biology, JGU Mainz) works as a technician (MTA) in the group “Biological Mechanisms of Tumor Progression and Metastasis”. She is involved in many different projects, focusing on the in vivo characterization of tumor initiation and progression, as well as the assessment of therapeutic effects, using different imaging modalities. Furthermore she contributes to cell culture, histological analysis and diagnostic and therapeutic in vitro experiments.

Dennis (Dipl.-Biol., Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf, 2008) investigates the effects of different cytokines in lung cancer by non-invasive imaging within a BMBF funded systems biology project (LungSysII). In addition, he works together with the Probe Design for Molecular Imaging group on the development and validation of clinically translatable PET-tracers.

Matthias (MD student, RWTH Aachen University) investigates the endothelial expression of different angiogenesis receptors in human breast cancer. The aim of his work is to verify the clinical relevance of aberrant protein expression patterns, particularly with regard to establishing new molecular imaging modalities in cancer diagnostics..

Anne (BSc student in Molecular Biology, JGU Mainz) works as a technician (BTA) in the group. Her main focus is functional and molecular ultrasound methods for assessing tumor angiogenesis and anti-angiogenic therapy effects. In addition, she is working on immunohistochemistry, microscopy and on different diagnostic and therapeutic in vivo and ex vivo experiments.

Igor (MD Student, RWTH Aachen University) is working on the evaluation of alternative diagnos-tic markers in ultrasound and on the dose-optimization of microbubbles for clinical translation.

Sara (MSc in Biotechnology, RWTH Aachen University, 2012) works in a BMBF funded systems biology project on liver regeneration (Virtual Liver Network). Her main focus is to investigate and characterize macrophage activation during liver regeneration by noninvasive fluorescence tomography. In addition, she is investigating liver vascularization and growth during liver regeneration and after alterations in the hepatic blood flow.