Chris Madsen

Senior Lecturer, PhD, MSc

Research areas and keywords

UKÄ subject classification

  • Cancer and Oncology
  • Cell and Molecular Biology


  • Cancer, Metastasis, Tumour microenvironment, Imaging, Extracellular matrix, Mechanobiology, Cancer-associated fibroblast


Metastasis is responsible for over 90% of cancer-related deaths. For cancer cells to spread, they need to adapt to the tissue environment they encounter. On their journey they will meet obstacles of various physical properties, and the cancer cells have therefore developed strategies to circumvent these challenges, a term known as ‘plasticity of cell migration’.
Importantly the plasticity of cell migration can affect the ability of cancer cells to metastasise, and the failure of many anti-metastatic drugs can be explained by the ability of cancer cells to change mode of migration. While the intrinsic mechanisms behind cell migration are well studied, the challenge now is to understand how the extracellular environment regulates this machinery to maintain efficient movement. The extracellular matrix (ECM) provides critical topological, mechanical and biochemical cues to the cells and consequently one of the most important regulators of cellular and tissue function in the body. In most solid tumours the ECM is substantially transformed leading to cancer progression and dissemination. This transformation is often crafted by activated cancer-associated fibroblasts (CAFs). The aim of our research is to decode the way cancer cells navigate in topographically distinct environments. We aim at understanding the pathological changes occurring in the tumour ECM, and how de-activation of CAFs can counteract these alterations and ultimately stop the spread of cancer.

Highlighted research outputs

Chris D Madsen, Jesper T Pedersen, Freja A Venning, Lukram Babloo Singh, Emad Moeendarbary, Guillaume Charras, Thomas R Cox, Erik Sahai & Janine T Erler, 2015 Oct, In: EMBO Reports. 16, 10, p. 1394-408

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Chris D Madsen, Steven Hooper, Melda Tozluoglu, Andreas Bruckbauer, Georgina Fletcher, Janine T Erler, Paul A Bates, Barry Thompson & Erik Sahai, 2015 Jan, In: Nature Cell Biology. 17, 1, p. 68-80

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Chris D Madsen & Erik Sahai, 2010 Jul 20, In: Developmental Cell. 19, 1, p. 13-26

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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