Receptor seminar: Liquid biopsy approaches in brain metastasis research

    Monday, July 8th at 11:00
    PHA2 seminar room, PharmaCity 1st floor

    Professor Harriet Wikman-Kocher (University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf, Germany)
    Liquid biopsy approaches in brain metastasis research

    Hosts: Harri Härmä ( and Jukka Westermarck (


    Biography: PhD from University of Helsinki in 2000. Group leader since 2005 and Professor since 2016 at Department of Tumor Biology, University Hospital Hamburg-Eppendorf, Germany. Original articles: 69, review articles: 10.

    The main research interest of Professor Wikman-Kocher´s group is to understand the biology behind the different steps of the metastatic cascade. They are interested in finding genes and pathways important for these processes and to investigate their functions by using both patient material as well as cell-culture based model systems. In particular, they are interested in investigating genetic factors leading to early dissemination (i.e. research on circulating and disseminated tumor cells) of both lung and breast tumors, and to better understand the site-specific metastasis such as brain metastasis formation in various epithelial tumors. Their aim is to use these markers in liquid biopsy specimens in order to improved cancer diagnostics and also treatment of cancer patients.

    Selected publications:

    1. Riebensahm et al. Clonality of Circulating Tumor Cells in Breast Cancer Brain Metastases Patients. Breast Cancer Res. In press, 2019
    2. Hanssen et al. Frequency of Circulating Tumor Cells (CTC) in Patients with Brain Metastases: Implications as a Risk Assessment Marker in Oligo-Metastatic Disease. Cancers 10(12): 527, 2018
    3. Berger et al. Identification of a High-Level MET Amplification in CTCs and cfTNA of an ALK-Positive NSCLC Patient Developing Evasive Resistance to Crizotinib. J Thorac Oncol. 13(12): e243-246, 2018
    4. Hohensee et al. PTEN mediates the cross talk between breast and glial cells in brain metastases leading to rapid disease progression. Oncotarget 8(4):6155-6168, 2016
    5. Werner et al.  Suppression of early hematogenous dissemination of human breast cancer cells to bone marrow by retinoic Acid-induced 2. Cancer Discov. 5(5):506-519, 2015