Researchers at Georg-Speyer-Haus and Goethe University Frankfurt have discovered a new mechanism that explains why only some of the cells in a colon tumour respond to chemotherapy. The research team led by Professor Florian Greten was able to establish that tumour cells dying off during chemotherapy communicate one last time with neighbouring tumour cells to give them instructions on how to resist the therapy. The dying cells re-programme the signalling cascades in the neighbouring tumour cells in such a way that these are no longer vulnerable to chemotherapy. By doing so, the dying cells literally ensure that the tumour survives.
New insights into tumour biology: Cancer cells adopt hitherto unknown state to facilitate metastasis
The ancient Egyptians, as described in the Ebers Papyrus, already knew that palpation –feeling for hardened lumps – can help diagnose breast cancer. Palpation is still an important element in early screening for breast cancer. On the other hand, measurements on individual cancer cells show that they are softer than the healthy epithelial cells from which they stem, which probably makes them better able to metastasise in dense human tissue. An international collaborative project led by the Soft Matter Physics Division at Leipzig University got to the bottom of this apparent paradox and has now published its findings in the renowned journal Nature Physics.
Bacteria promote cancer metastasis by bolstering the strength of host cells against mechanical stress in the bloodstream, promoting cell survival during tumor progression, researchers report.
Searching for ways to extend the survival benefit of targeted therapies, a team led by researchers has identified a potential new tactic to disrupt the repair mechanism that cancer cells use after treatment, blunting their ability to regenerate. The approach could present a new treatment strategy.
With help from the best tweezers in the world a team of researchers has shed new light on a fundamental mechanism in all living cells that helps them explore their surroundings and even invade tissue. Their discovery could have implications for research into cancer, neurological disorders and much else.
The findings of a new study suggest that a ketogenic diet — which is low in carbohydrates and protein, but high in fat — helps to kill pancreatic cancer cells when combined with a triple-drug therapy. In laboratory experiments, the ketogenic diet decreased glucose (sugar) levels in the tumor, suggesting the diet helped starve the cancer. In addition, this diet elevated ketone bodies produced by the liver, which put additional stress on the cancer cells.
Metastases in cancer are often caused by a few abnormal cells. These behave more aggressively than the other cancer cells in a tumor. Researchers are now on a method to detect these cells.
Researchers have genetically engineered a microbial encapsulation system for therapeutic bacteria that can hide them from immune systems, enabling them to reach tumors more effectively and kill cancer cells in mice.
Both nanomedicines and metronomic scheduling — when medications are given at lower, more frequent doses — can correct abnormalities surrounding tumors that help protect cancer cells and foster their growth and spread. Combining nanomedicines and metronomic scheduling may help improve cancer treatment strategies.
Amyloid beta, a protein known to build-up in the brains of Alzheimer’s patients, also helps skin cancer cells thrive when they spread to the brain, a new study finds.
Squeezing through tight spaces makes cancer cells more aggressive and helps them evade cell death, shows a new study.
Researchers found that some cancer cells weave a deactivating signal into a protective coat of armor, immobilizing and excluding T cells that would otherwise kill them. This immune deactivation pathway offers a promising new therapeutic approach for pancreatic, breast, and colorectal cancers.
Nanomaterials have revolutionized the world of cancer therapy, and plant-derived nanoparticles have the added advantage of being cost-effective and easy to mass produce. Researchers have recently developed novel corn-derived bionanoparticles for targeting cancer cells directly, via an immune mechanism. The results are encouraging, and the technique has demonstrated efficacy in treating tumor-bearing laboratory mice. Moreover, no serious adverse effects have been reported in mice so far.
When tumors spread, cancer cells migrate to other parts of the body through the blood or lymphatic vessels. Scientists have now found a new protein that prevents cancer cells from doing so by making them stick more tightly to their surroundings. Their findings could in the future help doctors determine the aggressiveness of a tumor and fine-tune the therapy.
In many mammals including humans, the placenta invades the wall of the uterus during pregnancy in the same way that cancer cells invade surrounding tissues. Using genomic sequences and gene expression information, researchers were able to predict specific signaling proteins that drive the expression of genes that decrease the susceptibility of invasion in human cells. Using a custom fabricated bio chip, the researchers confirmed that these predicted proteins did in fact decrease the invasion of both cancer and placental cells.
Hyaluronic acid, or HA, is a known presence in pancreatic tumors, but a new study shows that hyaluronic acid also acts as food to the cancer cells. These findings provide insight into how pancreatic cancer cells grow and indicate new possibilities to treat them.
Understanding how cells die is key to developing new treatments for many diseases, whether the goal is to make cancer cells die or keep healthy cells alive in the face of other illnesses, such as massive infections or strokes. Two new studies have identified a previously unrecognized pathway of cell death — named lysoptosis — and demonstrate how it could lead to new therapies for cervical cancer.
Researchers identify signaling mechanisms in pancreatic cancer cells that could provide treatment targets
Scientists have provided new insights into molecular ‚crosstalk‘ in pancreas cancer cells, identifying vulnerabilities that could provide a target for therapeutic drugs already being studied in several cancers.
Acute myeloid leukemia (AML) is a cancer of white blood cells. Researchers discovered that AML cancer cells depend on a protein called SCP4 to survive. They think the previously little-known protein is involved in a metabolic pathway the cancer cells need to survive. SCP4 provides researchers with a potential new therapeutic approach for this aggressive cancer.
Melanoma patients receiving therapy that makes it easier for their immune system to kill cancer cells respond to treatment better when their diet is rich in fiber, according to a large, international research collaboration.
Depleting copper levels may reduce the production of energy that cancer cells need to travel and establish themselves in other parts of the body by a process referred to as metastasis, according to a new study. The discovery of the underlying mechanisms of how copper depletion may help reduce metastasis in breast cancer will help inform the design of future clinical trials.
Sonodynamic therapy uses ultrasound in combination with drugs to release harmful reactive oxygen species (ROS) at the site of a tumor. However, the treatment isn’t very effective because cancer cells can activate antioxidant defense systems to counteract it. Now, researchers have breached these defenses with CRISPR/Cas9 gene editing, allowing sonodynamic therapy to effectively shrink tumors in a mouse model of liver cancer.
Ever since the first barcode appeared on a pack of chewing gum in 1974, the now-ubiquitous system has enabled manufacturers, retailers and consumers to quickly and effectively identify, characterize, locate and track products and materials. Scientists now demonstrate how they can do the same thing at the molecular level, studying the ways cancer cells ‚talk‘ with one another.
Chemotherapy successfully treats many forms of cancer, but the side effects can wreak havoc on the rest of the body. Delivering drugs directly to cancer cells could help reduce these unpleasant symptoms. Now, in a proof-of-concept study, researchers have made fish-shaped microrobots that are guided with magnets to cancer cells, where a pH change triggers them to open their mouths and release their chemotherapy cargo.
Using an experimental system involving new genetic technology, researchers analyzed the gene expression signatures of a representative sample of barcoded leukemia cells. After implanting some of the leukemia cells in mice, they discovered that distinct gene expression signatures correlated with the various organs where the cancer cells ended up. They were also able to identify previously unknown genes that are involved in disease progression and chemotherapy resistance, which may offer new targets for treatment.