Microenvironment and Metastasis
Basic/translational research
Spanish National Cancer Research Center (CNIO)
·Madrid ·

In the Microenvironment and Metastasis Group, we are interested in understanding the interaction between tumor and stromal cells during metastatic progression. In particular, we focused on analyzing the role of exosomes in the formation of the pre-metastatic niche. These particles play a crucial role in tumor cell nesting and metastasis formation in distant organs.

We have discovered that tumor-secreted exosomes can be detected in the plasma of pancreatic cancer patients. This finding indicates the induction of a premetastatic niche in the liver, preparing this organ for the arrival of pancreatic cancer cells.

During the last few years, our group has developed algorithms to detect specific microprotein signatures in exosomes derived from primary pancreatic cancer tumors. These signatures could be useful in the early detection of pancreatic cancer by liquid biopsies, and also to understand their role in the metastatic process.

In summary, we propose the use of microproteins in the early diagnosis of pancreatic cancer through liquid biopsies, as well as the study of their involvement in the process of metastasis.

Main publications in pancreatic cancer:

  1. Hoshino A, Sang Kim H, Bojmar L, et al. Extracellular vesicle and particle biomarkers define multiple human cancers. Cell. 2020; 182: 1044-1061.
  2. Costa-Silva B, Aiello NM, Ocean AJ, et al. Pancreatic cancer exosomes initiate pre-metastatic niche formation in the liver. Nat Cell Biol. 2015; 17: 816-826. 
  3. Hoshino A, et al. Tumor exosome integrins determine organotropic metastasis. Nature. 2015; 527: 329-335. 
Hector Peinado

Principal Investigator

Group members

  • Susana García
  • Marta Hergueta
  • Laura Nogués
  • Enrique Bastón
  • Juan García-Agulló
  • Sara Sánchez-Redondo
  • Vanesa Santos

Other groups