Visualizing Cancer Metabolism

We’ve been interested in cancer for some time.  Unfortunately, it has taken a back seat to keeping the laboratory funded through our strengths in retinal circuitry and disease research.

That said, we believe that these approaches are powerful and could contribute substantially to scientific progress.  Our interest lies predominantly in mapping metabolic domains and tracking oncogenic metabolic activity in tissues using Computational Molecular Phenotyping (CMP) strategies, and we’ve been waiting for the right opportunity to collaborate with people.

The image above demonstrates three selected small molecules mapped onto rhabdomyosarcoma, a specific kind of cancer that aggressively grows into muscles.  The image above demonstrates muscle fibers in green on the right, and a solid rhabdomyosarcoma tumor in purple on the left.  Specifically interesting is how one of those small molecules is infiltrating into muscle fibers around the solid tumor, revealing how the cancer is spreading.  There are many other findings from these data that at some point, when I can find the time, need to be written up.


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