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Medicine Grand Rounds, Kathleen Caron “Lymphatic System in Health and Disease”
May 2 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Recent studies have brought the lymphatic system to the forefront as an important route of tumor metastasis, the major cause for treatment failure and decreased survival in cancer patients. The spread of cancer cells to the lymph nodes serves as an early indicator of metastatic disease and contributes to the staging of cancer. Furthermore, expression of lymphangiogenic growth factors, including VEGFC and VEGFD, in various animal tumor models is often correlated with enhanced lymphatic metastasis. Therefore, the targeting the lymphatic vascular system to slow or prevent metastasis in some forms of cancer has become an area of intense and robust investigation.
Kathleen Caron is Professor and Chair of the Department of Cell Biology and Physiology. Studies in the Caron Lab are focused on elucidating unique G protein-coupled receptor pathways that are important for the development and function of the cardiovascular system. Using a variety of gene-targeted animal models in conjunction with state-of-the-art in vitro cell biological systems, we have discovered fundamental roles for several secretin- and chemokine-family receptors in cardiovascular development and disease. Much of their recent work has focused on the pivotal roles that RAMPs (receptor activity-modifying proteins) play in controlling receptor function, cellular signaling, and physiology. The importance of the RAMP-receptor interaction is best exemplified by the work centered on the small blood protein, adrenomedullin – a potent lymphangiogenic vasodilator that serves as a strong prognostic indicator for many disease conditions.