Shirly Sieh, a PhD student at IHBI, is studying the way cancer cells escape from the prostate through the bloodstream to form tumour colonies, most often in the spine and long bones.
"It is an innovative study which uses a tissue engineering platform technology developed by IHBI's Professor Dietmar W. Hutmacher in order to investigate the interaction between bones and cancer cells," Ms Sieh said.
"Tissue-engineered bone provides the 3D architecture for the cancer cells which more closely resemble bone metastasis instead of growing the cancer cells and bone cells on a flat Petrie dish.
"I am growing prostate cancer cells on the tissue-engineered bone to observe the interactions between the cells and the surrounding tissue so it is a way of mimicking the cancer cells invading the bone environment."
Ms Sieh said it was still not clear to researchers how bones and cancer cells interacted.
"With this 3D method we can see if and how the cancer cells 'set up home' in the bone cells," she said.
"We want to study how the cancer cells degrade the matrix, or the mix of proteins and growth factors produced by these cells, and remodel the environment to suit the cancer cells to grow a tumour."
Ms Sieh said scientists also wanted to understand why prostate cancer cells were attracted to the bone sites. She and Amy Lubik, a PhD student supervised by Professor Colleen Nelson, are studying the effect the cancer cells in the bone have on male hormone production, particularly on the hormone, androgen.
"People with advanced cancer who have had prostate removal surgery should have low levels of androgen and the cancer cells should be suppressed. However, sometimes the cancer cells do recur," she said.
"We think it might have something to do with the fact that the cancer cells are very sensitive to androgen and even low levels of androgen in the body could promote the growth of these cancer cells."
Ms Sieh said previous research had found that when the prostate cancer cells changed the bone environment they eventually induced more bone formation.
"But it is very abnormal growth which can cause bone fractures and painful spinal compression for the person," she said.
Ms Sieh's research is supervised by an interdisciplinary team made up of Professors Hutmacher, Judith Clements and Colleen Nelson, director of the federally-funded Australian Prostate Cancer Research Centre - Queensland located at Princess Alexandra Hospital campus and hosted by QUT.
Niki Widdowson | EurekAlert!
Virtual Reality in Medicine: New Opportunities for Diagnostics and Surgical Planning
07.12.2016 | Universität Basel
3-D printed kidney phantoms aid nuclear medicine dosing calibration
06.12.2016 | Society of Nuclear Medicine
In recent years, lasers with ultrashort pulses (USP) down to the femtosecond range have become established on an industrial scale. They could advance some applications with the much-lauded “cold ablation” – if that meant they would then achieve more throughput. A new generation of process engineering that will address this issue in particular will be discussed at the “4th UKP Workshop – Ultrafast Laser Technology” in April 2017.
Even back in the 1990s, scientists were comparing materials processing with nanosecond, picosecond and femtosesecond pulses. The result was surprising:...
Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...
A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.
Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...
In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.
“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...
The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.
The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...
16.11.2016 | Event News
01.11.2016 | Event News
14.10.2016 | Event News
08.12.2016 | Life Sciences
08.12.2016 | Physics and Astronomy
08.12.2016 | Materials Sciences