Cancer incidence is growing alarmingly, with currently more than 3,5 million people affected by it in Europe. Metastasis causes the vast majority of cancer-related deaths. It is usually resistant to conventional therapies and can lead to the failure of vital organs. Additionally, research on the evolution of metastases, from their establishment to treatment resistance, has so far been limited.

Evomet is an Innovative Training Network which aims at unraveling how metastases work. It uses a multidisciplinary array of training initiatives and techniques that integrate cutting-edge genomic, single-cell omics, and in vivo validation strategies. Evomet’s function-centric approach to studying the metastasis process can potentially change how cancer metastasis is understood and reveal actionable therapeutic targets.

More specifically, Evomet aims to:

  • Identify the founding cell clones that evolve throughout metastatic dissemination and treatment resistance as well as their molecular portraits to achieve a holistic understanding of metastatic cell fates

  • Dissect the mechanisms of tumour-stroma interaction in metastasis

  • Understand cancer cells’ evolution from latency towards overt metastases

  • Identify initial cellular populations, their potential interconversions and plasticity to comprehend metastasis expansion at distant organs

Work packages

Evomet has 15 individual research projects (IRPs) divided under four work packages. Click on the WP number to find out more about each work package:

WP1
Cell Fate
(ESR1, ESR2, ESR3, ESR4)

Available Early Stage Researcher Positions:

WP1 aims at understanding how genetic alterations that promote metastatic phenotypes occur in the primary tumour and drive metastasis heterogeneity. This aim is pursued through describing programs that define these populations’ cell fate, their evolution upon metastasis and treatment resistance.

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WP2
Environment
(ESR5, ESR6, ESR7, ESR8)

Available Early Stage Researcher Positions:

WP2 aims at unraveling the mechanisms of invasion of the stroma and the adaptation to hostile environments in the process of homing and colonization of secondary organs.

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WP3
Latency
(ESR9, ESR10, ESR11)

Available Early Stage Researcher Positions:

WP3 aims at determining mechanisms enabling cancer cells to survive as well as to exit from latency and genetically evolve towards overt metastasis in the clinical context.

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WP4
Expansion
(ESR12, ESR13, ESR14, ESR15)

Available Early Stage Researcher Positions:

WP4 aims at mapping the complexity within drug-resistant metastatic disease, patterns of clonal evolution. mechanisms of therapy failure and pathways for novel therapeutic targets.

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Career development

As the objective of Evomet is to train future leaders of metastasis research, a solid mentoring strategy will be provided for each ESR as soon as they join the consortium. All ESRs will have a supervisor who they will meet weekly as well as two/three co-supervisors, direct contact with Academic Officers or Career Advisors at the hosting institutions, guidance from a Thesis Advisory Committee as well as a Personal Career Development Plan.

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