"The madman jumped into their midst and pierced them with his eyes. ‘Where is God?’ he cried; ‘I’ll tell you! We have killed him – you and I! We are all his murderers.’”
– Nietzsche, The Gay Science, §125
Cancer invasion and metastasis transform a locally growing tumor into a systemic and live-threatening disease. But how tumor cells (green) migrate between organs is still largely a black box. Friedl and colleagues have developed a tool to watch cancer cells as they move through the skin of live mice. From these experiments, they’ve found that tumor migration is remarkably “plastic;” cells adapt their transportation styles for various tissue conditions and even remodel the tissue itself to facilitate mobility.
Image: An overview of invading melanoma cells in the mouse dermis, with tumor cells (green) using both single-cell and collective invasion along and into tissue structures. Tumor cells expressing E2-Crimson are (false-colored) green, and muscle fibers expressing GFP are orange. Nerve fibers and collagen are blue (third harmonic) and grey (second harmonic), respectively. AlexaFluor660-dextran is red.