Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Blocking cells' movement to stop the spread of cancer

07.07.2014

Insights into how cells move through the body could lead to innovative techniques to stop cancer cells from spreading and causing secondary tumours, according to new UCL research.

Scientists discovered that cells can change into an invasive, liquid-like state to readily navigate the narrow channels in our body. This transformation is triggered by chemical signals, which could be blocked in order to stop cancer cells from spreading.


In this image, the cells are stained red for cell protrusion, yellow for cell membrane and blue for nucleus.

Credit: Prof. R. Mayor

Most cancer deaths are not due to primary tumours, but to secondary tumours in vital organs, such as the lungs or brain, caused by cells moving from the original tumour to other places in the body.

The study led by UCL researchers and published today in the Journal of Cell Biology, used embryonic cells to investigate how groups of cells move in a developmental process similar to that used by cancer to spread around the body.

... more about:
»Biology »LPA »UCL »lungs »movement »spread »tumours

The team report a molecule called lysophosphatidic acid (LPA) changes cells from a solid-like to a liquid-like state, allowing cells to flow between normal tissues in the body. Scientists were able to switch off the signals from LPA, stopping the cells from moving down narrow, blood vessel-like channels.

Lead scientist Professor Roberto Mayor (UCL Cell & 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 promising alternative in which cancer treatments might work in the future, if therapies can be targeted to limit the tissue fluidity of tumours.

"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 neighbouring cells but still move en masse together, like a liquid. Moreover, we can stop this movement".

###

The work was co-authored by researchers at Kings College London and Cambridge University, UK and Akita City University, Japan.

Dr Rebecca Caygill | Eurek Alert!
Further information:
http://www.ucl.ac.uk

Further reports about: Biology LPA UCL lungs movement spread tumours

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Activating genes on demand
05.03.2015 | Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard

nachricht Big box stores could ditch the grid, use natural gas fuel cells instead
05.03.2015 | DOE/Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

70 Nobel laureates and 672 young scientists expected at Lindau

04.03.2015 | Event News

Registration open: 11th X-ray Forum for Customers of GE’s Digital Radiography and Industrial CT Inspection Technologies

04.03.2015 | Event News

ΣYSTEMS INTEGRATION in Finland focusses on high-tech printing

04.03.2015 | Event News

 
Latest News

Strength in numbers

05.03.2015 | Information Technology

New CMI Process Recycles Valuable Rare Earth Metals From Old Electronics

05.03.2015 | Process Engineering

Genetic Data Can Help Predict How Pine Forests Will Cope with Climate Change

05.03.2015 | Agricultural and Forestry Science

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>