Although cancer survival rates have significantly improved in recent years, progress in cancer metastasis treatment has been limited. Most malignant tumours are carcinomas arising from the epithelial cells transformations. At early stages of carcinoma progression, epithelial cells can undergo a process called epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition, priming their migration from the primary tumour, eventually leading to their dissemination and metastasis initiation.
- To develop novel small-molecule inhibitors targeting epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition, in order to combat tumour progression and carcinoma metastasis.
Problem to Solve
Cancer metastasis is the major cause of cancer morbidity, and accounts for around 90% cancer-related deaths. Metastasis prevention and treatment is one the most crucial challenges in cancer research. There is an urgent need to develop novel therapeutic approaches for metastatic cancer patients. Current treatments for cancer metastasis are mainly chemotherapy and radiotherapy, with show limited success depending on the type and stage of the disease.
A new drug target involved at early stages of carcinoma progression and metastasis represents a new therapeutic approach with a novel mechanism of action. Moreover, the specificity of the drug target avoids broader site effects in pre-clinical studies. The use of novel small-molecules compounds against this drug target inhibits both carcinoma metastasis and tumor growth.