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Metastasis Research Network (MetNet)

Metastasis Research Network (MetNet) Image

Metastasis Research Network (MetNet) 

Credit: DCB

Understanding the spectrum of complex metastatic processes is important to the development of a comprehensive and cohesive understanding of cancer metastasis. The Metastasis Research Network (MetNet) supports collaborative, multidisciplinary projects that focus on several themes of the metastatic process and utilize integrative systems-level approaches.

MetNet is advancing the understanding of metastasis as a non-linear, dynamic, and emergent process, as well as revealing mechanistic insights of early dissemination, cellular and physical microenvironment crosstalk, dormancy, and mechanisms of responses by metastatic cells to therapies. The network integrates multiple perspectives and expertise to advance metastasis research, including scientific experts in different fields, physicians, and research advocates.

MetNet Funding Opportunity

PAR-22-234: MetNet Research Projects (U01 Clinical Trial Not Allowed)

MetNet Research Advocates

MetNet brings together scientific experts in different disease and research areas to find answers to why and how metastasis occurs in cancer and discover solutions to prevent, control and ultimately eradicate it. Patient advocates bring a unique perspective to each MetNet center, working as valued partners with the researchers. They incorporate the patient experience into basic and translational research, having experienced cancer or supported someone with cancer. 

The advocates have three primary roles: 

  1. Engage in a scientific discussion with the investigators to communicate patient priorities, preferences, and concerns. 
  2. Mentor researchers to broaden their understanding of the disease, help them communicate their work in a way that is accessible for those outside the scientific community, and gain perspective on the impact they have on patients’ lives. 
  3. Serve as a liaison to their communities by translating the progress of scientific research from MetNet for a general audience.

 The research advocates are each a member of one of the five MetNet academic institutions’ centers, and they also work together on common advocacy goals across the centers.

MetNet News and Publications

New grants for MetNet were awarded in Spring 2024.

Drs. Julio Aguirre-Ghiso, Brian Brown and Maria Sosa with the Albert Einstein College of Medicine MetNet project are investigating disseminated cancer cell clonal cooperation and immune control in dormancy and metastasis. 

The Johns Hopkins University MetNet Project, led by Dr. Andrew Ewald,  is examining how a cancer cell's molecular toolkit changes during metastasis by mapping cell states in space and time. 

The University of Texas Health Science Center MetNet Project, led by Dr. Tim Huang, is studying the role of tumor-macrophage hybrid cells in metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer. 

Drs. Andrew Oberst and Mark Headley with the University of Washington MetNet Project are investigating the role of apoptotic cells (undergoing programmed cell death) in promoting metastasis. 

Drs. David DeNardo, Li Ding, and Ryan Fields with the Washington University at St. Louis MetNet Project are examining the impact of metastatic site on dendritic cell-driven tumor immunity in pancreatic cancer. 

Upcoming and Past Meetings

October 11-12, 2023 - MetNet Investigators Meeting

December 2, 2021 - MetNet Kickoff Meeting

September 24, 2021 - MetNet Center Introductions

MetNet Social Media

MetNet research and funding opportunities are shared on Twitter: @NCIsysbio

Contacts for MetNet

For additional information about the MetNet, please contact Dr. Joanna Watson, Dr. Christine Nadeau, or Dr. Brunilde Gril

Funded Projects

MetNet Research Centers (U54s)

Institution Principal Investigator(s) Project Title
Stanford University Christina Curtis Evolutionary dynamics and microenvironmental determinants of metastatic breast cancer
Massachusetts Institute of Technology Roger Kamm, Vivek Shenoy Mechanical determinants of organ-selective metastatic colonization, dormancy, and outgrowth
Stanford University Melanie Hayden Gephart Deconvolution and interruption of the cancer-neuro-immune axis facilitating brain metastases
Rockefeller University Sohail Tavazoie Center for systems-level study of metastasis
New York University School of Medicine Eva Hernando, Iman Osman NYULH Metastasis Research Network Center (NYULH MetNet Center)

MetNet Research Projects (U01s)

Institution Principal Investigator(s) Project Title
Albert Einstein College of Medicine Julio Aguirre-Ghiso, Brian D. Brown, Maria Sosa Investigating disseminated cancer cell clonal cooperation and immune control in dormancy and metastasis
Johns Hopkins University Andrew J. Ewald Mapping the single cell state basis of metastasis in space and time
University of Texas Health Science Center Tim H.M. Huang The role of tumor-macrophage hybrid cells in prostate cancer metastasis
University of Washington Andrew A. Oberst, Mark B. Headley Promotion of metastasis by apoptotic cells
Washington University in St. Louis David G. DeNardo, Li Ding, Ryan C. Fields The impact of metastatic site on dendritic cell-driven tumor immunity
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