The vast majority of deaths related to cancer are due to metastatic disease, whereby the cancer has spread from the primary tumour to distant sites. A complex sequence of biological and physical events are involved in this metastasis. We are particularly interested in the role of the extracellular matrix in invasion and metastasis. In addition we are investigating the role of extracellular vesicles in communication between the primary tumour and secondary sites. Our ultimate aim would be to understand the seed and soil hypothesis of metastasis, that is why do certain cancers "prefer" certain destinations (organs) to colonise.
Figure 1 - Physical and biological processes involved in metastatic colonisation.