Int. J. Dev. Biol. 48: 559 - 562 (2004)
doi: 10.1387/ijdb.041834vc
© UPV/EHU Press

Tumor invasion and metastasis: getting more basic to come closer to the patient. An interview with Lance A. Liotta.

Vincent Castronovo

Metastasis Research Laboratory, University of Liège, Sart Tilman,Liège, Belgium.

ABSTRACT Lance Liotta, M.D., Ph.D. is one of the pioneers who opened, in the 1970s, a major new alley of investigation in the field of cancer research: the study of the mechanisms which sustain tumor invasion and metastasis. Using his outstanding creative mind and his expertise in biomedical engineering, he has proposed over the years powerful, innovative concepts which have inspired the whole scientific community in the field of cancer. He is the author of the three step model for tumor invasion (degradation, adhesion and migration of cancer cells) which has guided and enlightened tens if not hundreds of researchers, leading to incredible progress in our understanding of the mechanisms used by malignant cells to progress during their walk from the primary tumor to the deadly secondary colonies. With his colleagues, he invented Laser Capture Microdissection (LCM), an ingenious apparatus used today in more than 500 laboratories worldwide, which has enabled researchers to explore for the first time, the real time events occurring during cancer progression. One of his last achievements, among many, is a novel Drosophila model which can be genetically manipulated to study the key genetic events underlying tumor invasion and metastases.

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*Corresponding author e-mail: vcastronovo@ulg.ac.be