Stemness & Metastasis: Advances in Research and Clinical Translation
20-21 May 2021

Manuel Valiente

Brain Metastasis Group, CNIO, Madrid, Spain

Dr Valiente is the Head of the Brain Metastasis Group (CNIO, Madrid). His laboratory uses preclinical models to discover critical aspects of the biology of brain secondary tumors derived from breast cancer, lung cancer and melanoma. Brain metastasis is the most common tumor affecting the brain for which there are very limited therapeutic options to the point that it is considered an unmet clinical need. Dr Valiente and his group have identified key mechanisms of brain colonization such as the molecular regulation of the inefficiency of this process, the critical role of the crosstalk between metastasis initiating cells and brain capillaries and the complex influence of the reactive microenvironment shaping the evolution of metastatic cells in the brain. More recently, the Brain Metastasis Group has pioneered a successful new therapeutic strategy that targets a disease-associated pro-metastatic subpopulation of glial cells. The benefits derived from this therapy to both experimental models as well as to patients with brain metastasis emphasize the importance of targeting organ-specific survival mechanisms to treat metastases more effectively. His EMBO YIP laboratory is funded by national and international grants, including an ERC CoG.

Relevant publications:

Boire A*, Brastianos P*, Garzia L*, Valiente M*. Viewpoint: Brain Metastasis. Nat Ver Cancer. DOI: 10.1038/s41568-019-0220-y (*) Co-corresponding author.

Priego N, et al., Valiente M*. (2018) STAT3 labels a subpopulation of reactive astrocytes required for brain metastasis. Nature Medicine. 24(7):1024-1035. (*) Corresponding author. Comments on: Nat. Medicine, Trends Mol Med., Nat Rev Cancer, Nat Rev Neurol.

Er E, Valiente M*, Ganesh K* et al. Pericyte-Like Spreading by Disseminated Cancer Cells Activates YAP and MRTF for Metastatic Colonization. Nature Cell Biology. 20(8):966-9784. (*) Shared authorship. Comments on: Nat Cell Biol., F1000 Prime evaluation.

Valiente M*, et al., Soffietti R*. (2018). The evolving landscape of brain metastasis. Trends in Cancer. 4(3):176-196. (*) Co-corresponding author. Comments on: Review of the year by Trends in Cancer.

Chen Q*, Boire A*, Jin X, Valiente M, et al. (2016) Carcinoma-astrocyte gap junctions promote brain metastasis by cGAMP transfer. Nature. 533:493-498. (*) Shared authorship. This work generated a clinical trial (NCT02429570). Comments on: Cell Res., F1000 Prime evaluation, Nat Rev Cancer, Cancer Discov., Neurosurgery.

Valiente M, et al. (2014) Serpins promote cancer cell survival and vascular co-option in brain metastasis. Cell. 156:1002-1016. Comments on: Nature, EMBO J., Cancer Discov., Sci. Signal., Nat. Rev. Clin. Oncol., Nat. Cell Biol., N. Engl. J. Med.