Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


New findings on chromosome changes in tumour cells

New progress has been made on the road to understanding the origins of genetic changes in tumour cells.

The prevalent theory has been that genetic changes in tumour cells come about in multiple stages over a long time. However, a recent study by researchers at Lund University shows that this does not have to be the case at all, but that the cancer cells instead can be subject to several major chromosomal changes at the same time.

By filming cancer cells as they grow, the researchers discovered that tumour cells can undergo a special form of division that is not seen in healthy cells.

The results are presented in the scientific journal PNAS. Behind the study are researcher and doctor David Gisselsson Nord and colleagues in his research group.

“We have long known that changes in the genetic make-up of body cells play a part in the development of tumours. However, we don’t know a lot about how the genetic changes in the tumour cells actually come about. Above all, it has been difficult to understand why many tumour cells contain extra copies of one or more chromosomes, despite the fact that this is the most common type of chromosome abnormality in cancer cells”, says David Gisselsson Nord.

The research group’s findings mean new and important knowledge of how such chromosome damage can arise. By filming cancer cells as they grow over a long period of time, they discovered that tumour cells can undergo a special form of division. Normal cells divide in two opposite directions and we already know that tumour cells sometimes divide towards three poles.

“We were even more surprised to see that two of the three poles often fused together to form one daughter cell. This daughter cell thus got extra copies of one or more chromosomes. When we continued to film the cells it emerged that they could continue to divide and they thus gave rise to new cancer cells with a chromosome set that was different from the original cell”, says David Gisselsson Nord.

“These major, simultaneous chromosome changes could explain why tumours in young children, which have not had very long to grow, can demonstrate comprehensive changes in genetic make-up”, he says.

The study, which has been carried out in close collaboration with the newly started Lund company PHI AB, was performed on cells from a type of cancer known as Wilms’ tumour – a disease that generally affects children of pre-school age.

It has not been possible to carry out a study of this type until now because it has previously been difficult to film living cells in detail over a long time without exposing the cells to harmful fluorescent light. As an alternative, the researchers in this study used digital holographic microscopy, a novel technique by which cells are exposed only to weak laser light for very limited time periods.

Both the research group in Lund and other groups have previously shown that a high proportion of abnormal cell divisions of the type that they have now studied are linked to a higher risk of children with Wilms’ tumour dying of the disease.

“Now we can more easily understand why this is the case, because it is believed that an accumulation of cells with mutually different genetic make-up within a tumour means that they respond less well to chemotherapy. But this is still only a theory”, says David Gisselsson Nord.

It is hoped that this type of cell division can be used in some way as a target for cancer treatment, but the research is complicated and a lot of work remains to be done.

“At the moment, the most important thing is to wait for our findings to be confirmed by other studies”, says David Gisselsson Nord.

David Gisselsson Nord, Reader in Clinical Genetics, tel. +46 (0)733 91 40 36,
+46 (0)46 17 34 18,

Megan Grindlay | idw
Further information:

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Scientists develop tiny tooth-mounted sensors that can track what you eat
22.03.2018 | Tufts University

nachricht NIH scientists describe potential antibody treatment for multidrug-resistant K. pneumoniae
14.03.2018 | NIH/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Researchers Discover New Anti-Cancer Protein

An international team of researchers has discovered a new anti-cancer protein. The protein, called LHPP, prevents the uncontrolled proliferation of cancer cells in the liver. The researchers led by Prof. Michael N. Hall from the Biozentrum, University of Basel, report in “Nature” that LHPP can also serve as a biomarker for the diagnosis and prognosis of liver cancer.

The incidence of liver cancer, also known as hepatocellular carcinoma, is steadily increasing. In the last twenty years, the number of cases has almost doubled...

Im Focus: Researchers at Fraunhofer monitor re-entry of Chinese space station Tiangong-1

In just a few weeks from now, the Chinese space station Tiangong-1 will re-enter the Earth's atmosphere where it will to a large extent burn up. It is possible that some debris will reach the Earth's surface. Tiangong-1 is orbiting the Earth uncontrolled at a speed of approx. 29,000 km/h.Currently the prognosis relating to the time of impact currently lies within a window of several days. The scientists at Fraunhofer FHR have already been monitoring Tiangong-1 for a number of weeks with their TIRA system, one of the most powerful space observation radars in the world, with a view to supporting the German Space Situational Awareness Center and the ESA with their re-entry forecasts.

Following the loss of radio contact with Tiangong-1 in 2016 and due to the low orbital height, it is now inevitable that the Chinese space station will...

Im Focus: Alliance „OLED Licht Forum“ – Key partner for OLED lighting solutions

Fraunhofer Institute for Organic Electronics, Electron Beam and Plasma Technology FEP, provider of research and development services for OLED lighting solutions, announces the founding of the “OLED Licht Forum” and presents latest OLED design and lighting solutions during light+building, from March 18th – 23rd, 2018 in Frankfurt a.M./Germany, at booth no. F91 in Hall 4.0.

They are united in their passion for OLED (organic light emitting diodes) lighting with all of its unique facets and application possibilities. Thus experts in...

Im Focus: Mars' oceans formed early, possibly aided by massive volcanic eruptions

Oceans formed before Tharsis and evolved together, shaping climate history of Mars

A new scenario seeking to explain how Mars' putative oceans came and went over the last 4 billion years implies that the oceans formed several hundred million...

Im Focus: Tiny implants for cells are functional in vivo

For the first time, an interdisciplinary team from the University of Basel has succeeded in integrating artificial organelles into the cells of live zebrafish embryos. This innovative approach using artificial organelles as cellular implants offers new potential in treating a range of diseases, as the authors report in an article published in Nature Communications.

In the cells of higher organisms, organelles such as the nucleus or mitochondria perform a range of complex functions necessary for life. In the networks of...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Industry & Economy
Event News

Virtual reality conference comes to Reutlingen

19.03.2018 | Event News

Ultrafast Wireless and Chip Design at the DATE Conference in Dresden

16.03.2018 | Event News

International Tinnitus Conference of the Tinnitus Research Initiative in Regensburg

13.03.2018 | Event News

Latest News

Modular safety concept increases flexibility in plant conversion

22.03.2018 | Trade Fair News

New interactive map shows climate change everywhere in world

22.03.2018 | Earth Sciences

New technologies and computing power to help strengthen population data

22.03.2018 | Earth Sciences

Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>