Features | Partner Sites | Information | LinkXpress
Sign In
BioConferenceLive
JIB
GLOBETECH PUBLISHING

Blocking Cell Movement Explored to Stop the Spread of Cancer

By BiotechDaily International staff writers
Posted on 14 Jul 2014
Image: Migrating embryonic neural crest cells (Photo courtesy of UCL - University College London).
Image: Migrating embryonic neural crest cells (Photo courtesy of UCL - University College London).
Learning more about how cells travel through the body could lead to innovative new treatments to block cancer cells from metastasizing and causing secondary tumors, according to new research.

Scientists discovered that cells can change into an invasive, liquid-like state to readily move through the thin channels in the human body. This transformation is activated by chemical signals, which could be blocked to stop cancer cells from spreading. Most cancer deaths are not caused by to primary tumors, but to secondary tumors in major organs, such as the lungs or brain, caused by cells moving from the original tumor to other places in the body.

The study led by the University College London (UCL; UK) researchers and published July 8, 2014, in the Journal of Cell Biology, used embryonic cells to better determine how groups of cells move in a developmental process similar to that exploited by cancer to spread around the body. The scientists reported that a molecule called lysophosphatidic acid (LPA) transforms cells from a solid-like to a liquid-like state, allowing cells to flow between normal tissues in the body. They were able to turn off the signals from LPA, stopping the cells from moving down the narrow, blood vessel-like channels.

Lead scientist Prof. Roberto Mayor, from the UCL department of cell and developmental biology, said, “We have found a way to stop the movement of embryonic cells by blocking LPA signals. It is likely that a similar mechanism operates during cancer invasion, which suggests a possible alternative which cancer treatments might work in the future, if therapies can be targeted to limit the tissue fluidity of tumors. Our findings are important for the fields of cell, developmental and cancer biology. Previously, we thought cells only moved around the body either individually or as groups of well-connected cells. What we have discovered is a hybrid state where cells loosen their links to neighboring cells but still move en masse together, like a liquid. Moreover, we can stop this movement.”

Related Links:

University College London



comments powered by Disqus

Channels

Genomics/Proteomics

view channel
Image: In the liver tissue of obese animals with type II diabetes, unhealthy, fat-filled cells are prolific (small white cells, panel A). After chronic treatment through FGF1 injections, the liver cells successfully lose fat and absorb sugar from the bloodstream (small purple cells, panel B) and more closely resemble cells of normal, non-diabetic animals (Photo courtesy of the Salk Institute for Biological Studies).

Fibroblast Growth Factor 1 Treatment Restores Glucose Control in Mouse Diabetes Model

A "vaccine" based on the metabolic regulator fibroblast growth factor 1 (FGF1) removed the insulin resistance that characterizes type II diabetes and restored the body's natural ability to manage its glucose... Read more

Drug Discovery

view channel
Image: Molecular rendering of the crystal structure of parkin (Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons).

Cinnamon Feeding Blocks Development of Parkinson's Disease in Mouse Model

A team of neurological researchers has identified a molecular mechanism by which cinnamon acts to protect neurons from damage caused by Parkinson's disease (PD) in a mouse model of the syndrome.... Read more

Therapeutics

view channel
Image: This type of electronic pacemaker could become obsolete if induction of biological pacemaker cells by gene therapy proves successful (Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons).

Gene Therapy Induces Functional Pacemaker Cells in Pig Heart Failure Model

Cardiovascular disease researchers working with a porcine heart failure model have demonstrated the practicality of using gene therapy to replace implanted electronic pacemakers to regulate heartbeat.... Read more

Lab Technologies

view channel

Precise Ion Irradiation Dosing Method Developed for Cancer Therapy

Scientists are employing nuclear physics principles to provide more effective approaches to radiotherapy treatment for cancer patients. Radiation therapy using heavy ions is best suitable for cancer patients with tumors that are difficult to access, such as in the brain. These particles scarcely damage the penetrated... Read more

Business

view channel

Cancer Immunotherapy Sector Predicted to Surge to USD 9 Billion Across Major Pharma Through 2022

The immunotherapy market will experience substantial growth through 2022, increasing from USD 1.1 billion in 2012 to nearly USD 9 billion in 2022 (corresponding to 23.8% annual growth) in the United Kingdom, United States, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and Japan, according to recent market research. This notable growth... Read more
 
Copyright © 2000-2014 Globetech Media. All rights reserved.