Engineered niches to analyze mechanisms of metastasis and guide precision medicine

Aaron H. Morris, Sophia M. Orbach, Grace G. Bushnell, Robert S. Oakes, Jacqueline S. Jeruss, Lonnie D. Shea

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Cancer metastasis poses a challenging problem both clinically and scientifically, as the stochastic nature of metastatic lesion formation introduces complexity for both early detection and the study of metastasis in preclinical models. Engineered metastatic niches represent an emerging approach to address this stochasticity by creating bioengineered sites where cancer can preferentially metastasize. As the engineered niche captures the earliest metastatic cells at a nonvital location, both noninvasive and biopsy-based monitoring of these sites can be performed routinely to detect metastasis early and monitor alterations in the forming metastatic niche. The engineered metastatic niche also provides a new platform technology that serves as a tunable site to molecularly dissect metastatic disease mechanisms. Ultimately, linking the engineered niches with advances in sensor development and synthetic biology can provide enabling tools for preclinical cancer models and fosters the potential to impact the future of clinical cancer care.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3786-3794
Number of pages9
JournalCancer Research
Issue number18
StatePublished - Sep 15 2020
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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