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IMAGE: The exact mechanisms for how broken cellular function appears in cells far removed from a cancer’s primary tumor remain an area of ongoing research. Scientists have now confirmed a link… view more 

Credit: Gabriel Jacobs, Tanner McArdle and Brian T. Freeman

WASHINGTON, D.C., August 7, 2018 — Metastasis, or the formation of secondary tumors, is a leading contributor to the vast majority of deaths related to cancer. The exact mechanisms for how broken cellular function appears in cells far removed from a cancer’s primary tumor remain an area of ongoing research. New work looks to explain a century-old hypothesis for how cancer forms hybrids within the body, leading to metastasis.

Researchers from the University of Minnesota Twin Cities confirmed a link between healthy-tumor hybrid cells and metastatic tumors for the first time in live animals. In APL Bioengineering, from AIP Publishing, the team discusses how they studied the distinct, heterogenous gene expression profiles found in human hybrid cells and how hybrid cells spontaneously occur in mouse models.

“The research community is recognizing that heterogeneity can make tumors very hard to treat,” said Brenda Ogle, one of the authors on the paper. “Instead of creating many different therapies to

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