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Mechanisms of Ewing sarcoma metastasis: biochemistry and biophysics

Promotor: T. Schmidt, Co-Promotor: B.E. Snaar-Jagalska

Elena Beletkaia
09 December 2015
Leiden University Repository

Ewing sarcoma (ES) is a special type of bone cancer, first described by Dr. James Ewing in his paper ‘Diffusive endothelioma of bone’. Today Ewing sarcoma represents the second most common bone cancer among adolescents and young adults. Contrary to the positive achievement in treatment of localized tumors, the long-term (5-years) survival for Ewing sarcoma patients with metastasis, however, remain below the 30% mark. In this thesis a report on experimental work aiming for a better understanding of the mechanisms underlying Ewing sarcoma metastasis is presented. Two distinct mechanisms are investigated: (1) a biochemical approach in which the initial steps in the CXCR4 signaling cascade are followed, and (2) a biophysical approach in which the guidance of Ewing sarcoma metastasis by the stiffness of their microenvironment is demonstrated. The results presented in this thesis provide deeper insights into the mechanisms controlling signaling of the chemokine receptor CXCR4 and into the role of the micro-environment in Ewing sarcoma cells behavior.Through various experimental approaches it was shown that both biochemical and biophysical guidance control how Ewing sarcoma develops into its distinct metastatic phenotype.

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