Tumor Progression and Metastasis

The group “Mechanisms of Tumor Progression and Metastasis” aims at elucidating the mechanisms of tumor growth and progression, with a special focus on the impact of the tumor micro-environment and the longitudinal in-vivo characterization by non-invasive imaging. Besides tumor staging and improved diagnosis, further attempts are directed to monitor therapy effects, including the evaluation of novel therapeutics. In-vivo imaging is complemented by histological and functional in-vitro analyses in order to validate the data and to identify new potential markers and targets.
Dr. rer. nat. W. Lederle

Selected publications

Research Papers

  1. Al Rawashdeh W, Arns S, Gremse F, Ehling J, Knüchel-Clarke R, Kray S, Spöler F, Kiessling F, and Lederle W. Optical tomography of MMP activity allows a sensitive noninvasive characterization of the invasiveness and angiogenesis of SCC xenografts. Neoplasia. 2014;16(3):235‑46, 246.e1.
  2. Abou-Elkacem L, Arns S, Brix G, Gremse F, Zopf D, Kiessling F, and Lederle W. Regorafenib inhibits growth, angiogenesis, and metastasis in a highly aggressive, orthotopic colon cancer model. Mol Cancer Ther. 2013;12(7):1322‑31.
  3. Bzyl J, Palmowski M, Rix A, Arns S, Hyvelin J, Pochon S, Ehling J, Schrading S, Kiessling F, and Lederle W. The high angiogenic activity in very early breast cancer enables reliable imaging with VEGFR2-targeted microbubbles (BR55). Eur Radiol. 2013;23(2):468‑75.
  4. Abou-Elkacem L, Björn S, Doleschel D, Ntziachristos V, Schulz R, Hoffman RM, Kiessling F, and Lederle W. High accuracy of mesoscopic epi-fluorescence tomography for non-invasive quantitative volume determination of fluorescent protein-expressing tumours in mice. Eur Radiol. 2012;22(9):1955‑62.
  5. Doleschel D, Mundigl O, Wessner A, Gremse F, Bachmann J, Rodriguez A, Klingmüller U, Jarsch M, Kiessling F, and Lederle W. Targeted near-infrared imaging of the erythropoietin receptor in human lung cancer xenografts. J Nucl Med. 2012;53(2):304‑11.
  6. Lederle W, Arns S, Rix A, Gremse F, Doleschel D, Schmaljohann J, Mottaghy FM, Kiessling F, and Palmowski M. Failure of annexin-based apoptosis imaging in the assessment of antiangiogenic therapy effects. EJNMMI Res. 2011;1(1):26.
  7. Lederle W, Linde N, Heusel J, Bzyl J, Woenne EC, Zwick S, Skobe M, Kiessling F, Fusenig NE, and Mueller MM. Platelet-derived growth factor-B normalizes micromorphology and vessel function in vascular endothelial growth factor-A-induced squamous cell carcinomas. Am J Pathol. 2010;176(2):981‑94.

Reviews / Perspectives

  1. Kiessling F, Fokong S, Koczera P, Lederle W, and Lammers T. Ultrasound microbubbles for molecular diagnosis, therapy, and theranostics. J Nucl Med. 2012;53(3):345‑8.
  2. Lederle W, Palmowski M, and Kiessling F. Imaging in the age of molecular medicine: monitoring of anti-angiogenic treatments. Curr Pharm Biotechnol. 2012;13(4):595‑608.

Group members

Susanne Koletnik

Susanne (B.Sc. in Molecular Biology, JGU Mainz) works as a lab technician and is involved in many different projects, focusing on the in vivo characterization of tumor initiation and progression, as well as the assessment of therapeutic effects, using different imaging modalities. Furthermore she contributes to cell culture, histological analysis and diagnostic and therapeutic in vitro experiments.


S. Koletnik

Dr. Dennis Doleschel

Dennis (Dr. rer. medic. Dipl.-Biol.) uses novel imaging methods and contrast agents for molecular investigations of physiological and pathophysiological processes. In addition, he analyzes the effects of novel therapeutics on cancer progression using non-invasive imaging techniques.


D. Doleschel

Christoph Jonas

Christoph (B.Sc., Biology, RWTH Aachen University) is working on his Master’s thesis on tumor angiogenesis and inflammation.


C. Jonas

Matthias Misiewicz

Matthias (MD student, RWTH Aachen University) investigates the endothelial expression of different angiogenesis receptors in human breast cancer. The aim of his work is to verify the clinical relevance of aberrant protein expression patterns, particularly with regard to establishing new molecular imaging modalities in cancer diagnostics..


M. Misiewicz

Igor Spivak

Igor (MD Student, RWTH Aachen University) is working on the evaluation of alternative diagnostic markers in ultrasound and on the dose-optimization of microbubbles for clinical translation.


I. Spivak

Dr. med. Saskia von Stillfried

Saskia (MD Dr. med., exchange post-doc with Professor Knüchel-Clarke) obtained a research scholarship funded by the Medical Faculty of the RWTH Aachen University. She uses different imaging techniques for analyzing the interactions between the endothelium and inflammatory cells in tumor progression and metastasis including angiogenesis-related receptors.


S. von Stillfried

Sara Zafarnia

Sara (M.Sc. in Biotechnology, RWTH Aachen University, 2012) works in a BMBF funded systems biology project on liver regeneration (Virtual Liver Network). Her main focus is to investigate and characterize macrophage activation during liver regeneration by noninvasive fluorescence tomography. In addition, she is investigating liver vascularization and growth during liver regeneration and after alterations in the hepatic blood flow.


S. Zafarnia