Cell & Molecular Imaging Shared Resource
Featured Research Project
Hematopoietic Stem Cells in Metastasis, Tumor Progression, and Recovery after Cancer Therapies
Amanda C. LaRue, PhD is analyzing the plasticity of hematopoietic stem cells (HSC) and their participation in metastasis, tumor progression, and recovery after cancer therapies. A focus of this research is on metastasis to bone. In these studies, both of the Cell & Molecular Imaging Shared Resource units (Confocal & Multiphoton Microscopy and Small Animal Imaging) were highly utilized for high resolution, longitudinal micro-computed tomography (micro-CT) to qualitatively and quantitatively assess fracture healing (Figure A) and correlate fracture repair with HSC engraftment and disease state (Figure B). In a series of studies, Dr. LaRue has shown that HSC-derived osteoblasts promote tumor aggressiveness at the metastatic bone site and HSC-derived osteochondrogenic cells can act as an adjuvant therapy to enhance bone repair/strength after radiation and/or chemotherapy. Most recently, Dr. LaRue has established a collaboration with Dr. Lee Leddy (HCC Clinician) to investigate the role of HSC-derived osteochondrogenic cells in the metastatic niche, to assess their contribution to osteolytic lesions, and to determine if these HSC-derived cells could serve as a novel anti-metastasis target.