Mireille Dessureault


Despite the enormous progress that has been made in the last decades, cancer is still the leading cause of death among Canadians, with metastatic cancers accounting for over 90% of those deaths. With approximately 50% of patients developing liver metastases, breast cancer and colorectal cancer (CRC) are in the top 5 of the deadliest cancers. Therefore, there is a pressing need to identify novel regulators of liver metastases that will enable the development of targeted agents to better manage patients. Recently, growth patterns of liver metastases have been identified : desmoplastic, pushing and replacement. These patterns seem to have a clinical relevance since the replacement pattern, in which hepatocytes and tumor cells are in direct contact, is associated with poor overall survival. Liver metastases present different patterns depending on the primary tumor. For example, CRC-derived liver metastases present all 3 patterns but breast cancer-derived liver metastases tend to form mainly replacement patterns. Claudins are tight-junctional proteins that participate in homo- and heteromeric interactions between adjacent cells such as hepatocytes and tumor cells. We have previously demonstrated that Claudin-2 levels are enriched in liver metastatic lesions in patients with breast cancer and confers liver metastatic properties to breast cancer cells. We believe that Claudin-2 is a tumor intrinsic, clinically relevant and functional mediator of liver metastases that modulates aggressive growth patterns.


I did my B.Sc. at the University of Ottawa in Biochemistry and then decided to move to Montreal to start a M.Sc. in Molecular Biology at the University of Montreal in 2014. During my M.Sc., I worked at the CHUM on the effect of the senescent cell secretome on the inflammatory response orchestrated by macrophages. In September 2016, I decided to change research institutes and started my Ph.D. at the GCRC on the role of Claudin-2 in the liver metastasis process.  



Rosalind and Morris Goodman Cancer Research Centre - McGill University
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