Liliana Ossowski, PhD Email Liliana Ossowski
- PROFESSOR EMERITUS | Medicine
- PROFESSOR EMERITUS | Oncological Sciences
MSc, Hadassah Medical School
PhD, Weizmann Institute
, Laboratory of Chemical Biology, Rockefeller University
My laboratory works on the concept of cancer dormancy. Observations in cancer patients indicate that cancer cells, which separate from the primary tumor and settle in distant organs, can either immediately resume growth, forming life-threatening metastases, or remain undetected, dormant and harmless to the patient, for prolonged period of time. We developed a cancer model, which allows us to study the molecular interactions that lead to induction of dormancy. Using this model it was possible to show that by disrupting an interaction between two cell surface receptors, urokinase receptor and an integrin, proliferative signal to ERK is blocked and a highly malignant tumor can be plunged into dormancy. This interaction is strictly dependent on high level of urokinase receptor, a property of many malignant tumors, thus making the site of intervention cancer specific. We identified the sequence on the urokinase receptor to which the integrin binds and used it to dock a chemical library of small compounds. One compound possessing the required activity has been identified. The ultimate goal is to develop it into a non-toxic drug that will prevent micro-metastatic disease from progressing to overt metastases.
My laboratory focuses on the properties of cancer cells that distinguish them from normal cells and which allow them to spread (metastasize) in the host. The long-term goal of my research is to identify interactions and functions of cancer cells amenable to inhibition so that targeted cancer therapy can be developed. It is well established that in order to spread, cancer cells have to degrade biological barriers such as basement memrance and extracellular matrix. We have established that a serine protease, which localizes this enzyme activity of urokinase blocks metastasis. We are now studying the receptor trying to determine the steps in metastatic spread which are dependent on surface proteolysis. We have discovered that reduction of the receptor expression by antisense techniques causes cancer cells to enter a state of dormacy (lack of in vivo proliferation). We have determined that through its interaction with an integrin alpha 5 beta1, the urokinase receptor induces activation of MAPkinase-ERK pathway, allowing tumor cells growth in vivo. This is an exciting finding since it provides a new approach to induce arrest of existing micrometastases.
Physicians and scientists on the faculty of the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai often interact with pharmaceutical, device and biotechnology companies to improve patient care, develop new therapies and achieve scientific breakthroughs. In order to promote an ethical and transparent environment for conducting research, providing clinical care and teaching, Mount Sinai requires that salaried faculty inform the School of their relationships with such companies.
Dr. Ossowski is not currently required to report Industry relationships.
Mount Sinai's faculty policies relating to faculty collaboration with industry are posted on our website. Patients may wish to ask their physician about the activities they perform for companies.
Physicians who provide services at hospitals and facilities in the Mount Sinai Health System might not participate in the same health plans as those Mount Sinai hospitals and facilities (even if the physicians are employed or contracted by those hospitals or facilities).
Information regarding insurance participation and billing by this physician may be found on this page, and can also be obtained by contacting this provider directly. Because physicians insurance participation can change, the insurance information on this page may not always be up-to-date. Please contact this physician directly to obtain the most up-to-date insurance information.
Insurance and health plan networks that the various Mount Sinai Health System hospitals and facilities participate in can be found on the Mount Sinai Health System website.