MPŠ MP&Scaron MP&Scaron MP&Scaron Avtorji

Jožef Stefan
Postgraduate School

Jamova 39
SI-1000 Ljubljana

Phone: +386 1 477 31 00
Fax: +386 1 477 31 10


Course Description

Role and Relevance of Animal Models in Understanding Tumor Progression


Nanosciences and Nanotechnologies, third-level study programme


prof. dr. Olga Vasiljeva
prof. dr. Christoph Peters


The aim of this course is to acquaint the students with the mechanisms of tumor progression and metastasis, and the relevance of proteolytic enzymes at different stages of the malignant growth.


The subject comprises the following themes:
• Mechanisms of tumor progression and metastasis
• The hallmarks of cancer
• The concept of tumor microenvironment
• In vivo animal cancer models
• Role of proteases in different stages of tumor progression and metastasis
• Role of proteases in tumor-stroma interactions
• Cancer biology methods

Course literature:

Tumor Models in Cancer Research (Teicher, B. A.) Humana Press, 2001

Biology of Cancer (Weinberg, R.A.) Garland Press, 2006

Gocheva, V., Joyce, J.A. Cysteine cathepsins and the cutting edge of cancer invasion, Cell Cycle 6 (2007) 60-64.

Vasiljeva, O., Reinheckel, T., Peters, C., Turk, D., Turk, V., and Turk, B. (2007) Emerging roles of cysteine cathepsins in disease and their potential as drug targets. Current Pharma Design 13, 385-401.

Mohamed, M.M., Sloane, B.F. Cysteine cathepsins: multifunctional enzymes in cancer, Nat Rev Cancer 6 (2006) 764-775.

Puente, X.S., Sánchez, L.M., Overall, C.M., López-Otín, C. (2003) Human and mouse proteases: a comparative genomic approach. Nat Rev Genet. 4, 544-558.

Hanahan, D., Weinberg, R.A. (2000) The hallmarks of cancer. Cell 7, 57-70.

Nature Reviews Cancer, …

Significant publications and references:

Vasiljeva, O., Korovin, M., Gajda, M., Brodoefel, H., Bojič, L., Krüger, A., Schurigt, U., Sevenich, L., Turk, B., Peters, C., Reinheckel, T. (2008) Reduced tumour cell proliferation and delayed development of high-grade mammary carcinomas in cathepsin B-deficient mice. Oncogene (Basingstoke) 27, 4191-4199.

Gocheva V., Zeng W., Ke D., Klimstra D., Reinheckel T., Peters C., Hanahan D., Joyce J.A. (2006) Distinct roles for cysteine cathepsin genes in multistage tumorigenesis, Genes Dev 20, 543-556.

Vasiljeva, O., Papazoglou, A., Krüger, A., Brodoefel, H., Korovin, M., Deussing, J., Augustin, N., Nielsen, B.S., Almholt, K., Bogyo, M., Peters, C., and Reinheckel, T. (2006) Tumor cell–derived and macrophage-derived cathepsin B promotes progression and lung metastasis of mammary cancer. Cancer Res. 66, 5242-5250.

Schurigt, U., Sevenich, L., Vannier, C., Gajda, M., Schwinde, A., Werner, F., Stahl, A., von Elverfeldt, D., Becker, A.K., Bogyo, M., Peters, C., Reinheckel, T. (2008) Trial of the cysteine cathepsin inhibitor JPM-OEt on early and advanced mammary cancer stages in the MMTV-PyMT-transgenic mouse model. Biol Chem. 389, 1067-1074.


• seminar, oral assessment and term paper

Students obligations:

• oral assessment and term paper