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“Identification of breast cancer cells that control their ability to spread to the lungs”
Scientists from the Tisch Cancer Institute have discovered a mechanism by which certain breast cancer cells can regulate their own metastases, fuel spread from the tumor site of origin, and determine routes of invasion to distant organs such as the lungs, according to a study published in cell reports in September.
For the first time, scientists have identified a type of cancer cell in triple-negative breast tumors, It is highly effective in invading and colonizing distant organs but slows down their growth upon colonization. These cells have the hallmark of slowing down the production of a protein called srGAP1, which is usually attributed to cancer growth.
Scientists have also found in animal models that these unique cells trigger a phenomenon that keeps them in a dormant state in distant organs such as the lungs. This is an important finding because cancer cells have to do just that Survive efficiently in remote locationsStaying in this presence “asleep” allows these cells to evade treatments that target the normal rapid growth of cancer cells. The lost cells can later become metastatic.
José Javier Bravo-Cordero, PhD, assistant professor of medicine (hematology and medical oncology) at The Tish Cancer Institute at Mount Sinai. “While these treatment regimens target dividing cells, they may also select for more invasive cancer cells. Our studies suggest that more selective therapeutic strategies that combine treatments against both dividing cells and invading dormant cells may be necessary to prevent disease spread.”
To conduct this study, the researchers used a high-resolution in vivo Imaging to visualize extravasation, which is the process of cancer cells exiting blood vessels to enter target tissues. This event was observed in real time, revealing in unprecedented detail the early stages of tumor infiltration. Microscopic studies revealed that after these tumor cells invade the lungs, they enter a dormant state by secreting the protein TGFβ2. Studies have also shown that interfering with this protein can prevent the invasion of cancer cells into the lungs.
Reference: Chryplewicz A, Scotton J, Tichet M, et al. Autophagy of tumor cells, reprogrammed macrophages, and remodeled blood vessels in glioblastoma trigger tumor immunity. cancer cells. 2022 doi: 10.1016 / j.ccell.2022.08.014