Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Malignant breast cancer cells to revert to normal with manipulation

19.04.2004


Speaking at Experimental Biology 2004, Dr. Mina Bissell describes research showing how manipulation of the extracellular matrix (a network of fibrous and globular proteins that surrounds breast cells) of non-malignant breast cells can lead to genomic instability via oxidative damage. She describes how manipulation of the microenvironment can allow malignant breast cancer cells to revert to normal cells again. She also describes how the tissue culture of the extracellular matrix affects the cancerous cells’ resistance to chemotherapy, independently of the characteristics of the malignancy itself.



Her presentation is part of the scientific program of the American Association of Anatomists, one of the six sponsoring societies of this year’s Experimental Biology meeting.

Dr. Bissell, a Distinguished Scientist at the Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory, is best known as the researcher who uncovered the critical role of extracellular matrix (ECM) in normal breast function and how its aberration may contribute to breast cancer development. While the role of ECM during embryonic development had been recognized for decades, its important role in tissue-specific function was not appreciated before the work in a handful of laboratories including Dr. Bissell’s laboratory. In fact, ECM was regarded as scaffolding for tissues and not much more.


Dr. Bissell postulated in 1981, and later showed experimentally, that the ECM was part of a "dynamic reciprocity" in the social interaction between cells and the nucleus much like hormones and growth factors, with the ECM at times telling the nucleus of the cells what to do and thus directing gene expression in conjunction with these other factors. She had chosen the breast to study the critical role of the ECM in normal breast tissue, a model she had selected because it continues to change throughout life of women in puberty, pregnancy, lactation, and once breast feeding is done (involution). In some of their earliest work, Dr. Bissell and her collaborators reported when breasts cells were placed on Petri dish tissue culture (2-D environment), even with all the right hormones and nutrients, they grew but did not differentiate and behave as breast cells do in the body. But when they were embedded in a 3-D extracellular matrix that mimicked real, living tissues, then the cells came together and organized as they would in the body, making tissue-like structures.

Studying how cancers develop and spread was a natural next step. One of the 3-D cell pioneers, Dr. Bissell believes science has concentrated too much on the cancer cell itself, when at times it’s what is outside those cells that lead to the affected cell’s genomic instability and mutation. Otherwise, she asks, why does everyone who has a BRCA 1 or 2 mutations not get breast cancer in every cell of the breast or ovary or indeed get it at all? Or perhaps more interestingly, since women who do have the mutation have it in every cell of their body, why does it only cause breast cancer and/or ovarian cancer? Why not also cancer of the skin or gut?

The 20th century will be remembered for the discovery of how genetic defects contribute to cancer. But in the 21st century, increasing evidence is being placed on the cellular microenvironment that makes up the context of cancer, both in ontogenesis, signaling the cell to permit expression of a cancer-causing gene, and in metastasis, when the nature of the ECM and its degrading enzymes may help allow cells to exist in microenvironments that differ from those in which they originated. Dr. Bissell’s research into the sophisticated manner in which the cellular environment affects gene expression within breast cells supports her belief that both normal and malignant cells are plastic and malleable, that normal cells can become malignant if the microenvironment is adversely affected, and that cancer cells even with many mutations can still become reverted to a normal phenotype. She also believes that the architecture of the tissue is important in how a tissue behaves and how it responds to chemotherapeutic agents.

Sarah Goodwin | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.faseb.org/

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Millions through license revenues
27.04.2017 | Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn

nachricht New High-Performance Center Translational Medical Engineering
26.04.2017 | Fraunhofer ITEM

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: Making lightweight construction suitable for series production

More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.

Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...

Im Focus: Wonder material? Novel nanotube structure strengthens thin films for flexible electronics

Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.

"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...

Im Focus: Deep inside Galaxy M87

The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.

Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...

Im Focus: A Quantum Low Pass for Photons

Physicists in Garching observe novel quantum effect that limits the number of emitted photons.

The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...

Im Focus: Microprocessors based on a layer of just three atoms

Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.

Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Fighting drug resistant tuberculosis – InfectoGnostics meets MYCO-NET² partners in Peru

28.04.2017 | Event News

Expert meeting “Health Business Connect” will connect international medical technology companies

20.04.2017 | Event News

Wenn der Computer das Gehirn austrickst

18.04.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Wireless power can drive tiny electronic devices in the GI tract

28.04.2017 | Medical Engineering

Ice cave in Transylvania yields window into region's past

28.04.2017 | Earth Sciences

Nose2Brain – Better Therapy for Multiple Sclerosis

28.04.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>