Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Scientists discover new mechanisms of early metastatic spread in breast cancer

15.12.2016

Scientists of the Regensburg-based Project Group for Personalized Tumor Therapy (Fraunhofer ITEM/University of Regensburg) and colleagues from Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai discovered new mechanisms of early metastatic spread in breast cancer. Results have been published in the latest issue of the renowned journal Nature (http://nature.com/articles/doi:10.1038/nature20785, http://nature.com/articles/doi:10.1038/nature20609).

Over decades, cancer research pursued the dogma that cancer cells seed mainly from advanced tumors – based on the finding that early diagnosis and surgical removal are decisive for curing cancer patients. Recently, however, the validity of this concept in explaining treatment success has been questioned increasingly, because patients with small tumors also develop metastases.


For their studies, the researchers culture primary mammary gland cells. This results in the formation of so-called spheres, which enable experimental investigation of metastasis.

Photo: Ralf Mohr; Fraunhofer ITEM

Furthermore, the genetic profile of disseminated cancer cells often does not show the expected similarity to the primary tumor. Derivation of disseminated cancer cells, as precursors of metastases, frequently seems to occur at early tumor evolution stages already.

Researcher teams under Prof. Christoph Klein (Regensburg) and Prof. Julio Aguirre-Ghiso (New York) for the first time ever studied mechanisms of early metastatic spread in breast cancer. They found that breast cancer formation hijacks physiological processes controlling mammary epithelial branching and expansion during adolescence and pregnancy, deregulates and uses them for tumor cell dissemination.

Once disseminated, these cells settle in other tissues and, after further genetic alterations, can grow to often life-threatening metastases in the target organ. The two research teams initially worked independently, but then collaborated and published their results simultaneously in Nature. “Our fundamentally new findings will hopefully advance cancer research substantially,” Klein explains.

The researchers hope that the proposed mechanism will provide a general framework for understanding metastasis formation. According to their findings, cancer cells first go through an early dissemination stage at low cell density at the primary site and later on switch to a proliferation stage when high cell density is reached.

However, the Regensburg scientists also found that tumor cells can “relearn” to disseminate even at later stages – from areas of low cell density. This is probably why metastases may derive from different stages of primary tumor evolution, both early and late. Since these stages comprise genetically different cells and modern therapeutic approaches often target genetic alterations, therapies targeting the seed of metastasis need to address this heterogeneity of cells to be successful.

Contact
Fraunhofer ITEM
Prof. Dr. Christoph Klein; +49-941-944-6720
christoph.klein@klinik.uni-regensburg.de

Press contact
Dr. Cathrin Nastevska; +49-511-5350-225
cathrin.nastevska@item.fraunhofer.de

Weitere Informationen:

http://www.item.fraunhofer.de/en/services_expertise/tumor_therapy.html
http://www.item.fraunhofer.de/en/press-and-media/press-releases/PM_Nature_Papers...

Dr. Cathrin Nastevska | Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Researchers identify how bacterium survives in oxygen-poor environments
22.11.2017 | Columbia University

nachricht Researchers discover specific tumor environment that triggers cells to metastasize
22.11.2017 | University of California - San Diego

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Nanoparticles help with malaria diagnosis – new rapid test in development

The WHO reports an estimated 429,000 malaria deaths each year. The disease mostly affects tropical and subtropical regions and in particular the African continent. The Fraunhofer Institute for Silicate Research ISC teamed up with the Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology IME and the Institute of Tropical Medicine at the University of Tübingen for a new test method to detect malaria parasites in blood. The idea of the research project “NanoFRET” is to develop a highly sensitive and reliable rapid diagnostic test so that patient treatment can begin as early as possible.

Malaria is caused by parasites transmitted by mosquito bite. The most dangerous form of malaria is malaria tropica. Left untreated, it is fatal in most cases....

Im Focus: A “cosmic snake” reveals the structure of remote galaxies

The formation of stars in distant galaxies is still largely unexplored. For the first time, astron-omers at the University of Geneva have now been able to closely observe a star system six billion light-years away. In doing so, they are confirming earlier simulations made by the University of Zurich. One special effect is made possible by the multiple reflections of images that run through the cosmos like a snake.

Today, astronomers have a pretty accurate idea of how stars were formed in the recent cosmic past. But do these laws also apply to older galaxies? For around a...

Im Focus: Visual intelligence is not the same as IQ

Just because someone is smart and well-motivated doesn't mean he or she can learn the visual skills needed to excel at tasks like matching fingerprints, interpreting medical X-rays, keeping track of aircraft on radar displays or forensic face matching.

That is the implication of a new study which shows for the first time that there is a broad range of differences in people's visual ability and that these...

Im Focus: Novel Nano-CT device creates high-resolution 3D-X-rays of tiny velvet worm legs

Computer Tomography (CT) is a standard procedure in hospitals, but so far, the technology has not been suitable for imaging extremely small objects. In PNAS, a team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) describes a Nano-CT device that creates three-dimensional x-ray images at resolutions up to 100 nanometers. The first test application: Together with colleagues from the University of Kassel and Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht the researchers analyzed the locomotory system of a velvet worm.

During a CT analysis, the object under investigation is x-rayed and a detector measures the respective amount of radiation absorbed from various angles....

Im Focus: Researchers Develop Data Bus for Quantum Computer

The quantum world is fragile; error correction codes are needed to protect the information stored in a quantum object from the deteriorating effects of noise. Quantum physicists in Innsbruck have developed a protocol to pass quantum information between differently encoded building blocks of a future quantum computer, such as processors and memories. Scientists may use this protocol in the future to build a data bus for quantum computers. The researchers have published their work in the journal Nature Communications.

Future quantum computers will be able to solve problems where conventional computers fail today. We are still far away from any large-scale implementation,...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Ecology Across Borders: International conference brings together 1,500 ecologists

15.11.2017 | Event News

Road into laboratory: Users discuss biaxial fatigue-testing for car and truck wheel

15.11.2017 | Event News

#Berlin5GWeek: The right network for Industry 4.0

30.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

UCLA engineers use deep learning to reconstruct holograms and improve optical microscopy

22.11.2017 | Medical Engineering

Watching atoms move in hybrid perovskite crystals reveals clues to improving solar cells

22.11.2017 | Materials Sciences

New study points the way to therapy for rare cancer that targets the young

22.11.2017 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>