Matrix during cancer progression

Mouse lung bearing metastatic tumour. Organ decellulairsed using ISDoT (Mayorca et al, 2017, Nature Medicine) and stained for collagen IV to see basement membrane. Image acquired using a multiphoton microscope. SHG is second harmonics generation – used to visualise collagen fibres. Image highlights changes to the ECM composition and structure that occur during cancer progression. Image thanks to Alejandro Mayorca-Guiliani.


Grant number: ERC-2015-CoG-682881-MATRICAN

Short description

The extracellular matrix (ECM) is known to play a critical role in driving cancer progression, and yet we lack knowledge of its composition and structure. The goal of my ERC project is to investigate how alterations in biochemical composition and structural properties of the ECM during cancer progression impact on cell behaviour to drive metastasis, which is responsible for over 90% of cancer patient deaths. The research proposed will provide ground breaking insight into how the ECM regulates cellular behaviour during normal and pathological conditions, and will test new strategies to combat metastasis that could be translated into the clinic to benefit cancer patients.


Mayorca, Madsen, Cox et al, 2017, Nature Medicine (link)

Mayorca, Willacy et al, 2019, Nature Protocols (link)


Janine Erler (PI)

Alejandro Mayorca Guiliani (Assistant Professor)

Adina Jensen (PhD student)

Jan Strøbech (PhD Student)

Anna Leibold (Student Helper)