Cancer cells can corrupt & surround healthy tissue & # 39; to help tumors grow, spread and resist treatment, scientists claim
- Scientists studied the tissue that surrounds mouse tumors in the laboratory
- Cancer & # 39; exerts a powerful influence on adjacent cells & # 39;
- Helps experts understand how tumors bring about changes that help them survive
Cancer cells can corrupt healthy tissue & # 39; to help them grow, spread and withstand treatment, research suggests.
Scientists from the Francis Crick Institute in London used the most modern technology to study the tissue surrounding mice in the laboratory.
They discovered that the healthy tissue that bordered the malignant cells of the rodents, & # 39; stem cell-like & # 39; and & # 39; actually supported cancer growth & # 39 ;.
The scientists believe that this is the & # 39; powerful influence of cancer on adjacent cells & # 39; demonstrates.
They hope their research will help experts better understand how tumors cause changes that enable them to survive.
Cancer cells can corrupt healthy neighboring tissue & # 39; to help them grow (stock)
"Our new technique allows us to study changes in cells in the tumor microenvironment with unprecedented precision," said lead author Dr. Ilaria Malanchi.
& # 39; This helps us to understand how these changes are related to tumor growth and metastasis, allowing us to develop better strategies to treat the disease.
& # 39; We discovered that non-cancer cells in the tumor microenvironment return to a stem cell-like state and actually support cancer growth.
& # 39; By corrupting its neighbors, cancer is transforming its local environment to support its own survival. & # 39;
One in two people born after 1960 in the UK will develop cancer at some point in their lives, according to statistics from Cancer Research UK.
And in the US, according to the National Cancer Institute last year alone, 1.7 million new cases were diagnosed.
To discover how cancer cells affect their environment, the scientists analyzed mice with breast cancer that had spread to the lungs.
They developed the tumors to release a fluorescent protein that penetrates into adjacent cells, the journal Nature reported.
WHAT ARE STEM CELLS?
Stem cells are a basic type of cells that can change into another type of more specialized cell through a process known as differentiation.
Think of stem cells as a new clay ball that can be formed and changed in every cell in the body – including bones, muscles, skin and more.
This ability means that in recent decades they have been the focus of much medical research.
They grow in embryos as embryonic stem cells, making the fast-growing child the millions of different cell types to build before birth.
In adults, they are used as repair cells, to replace the cells that we lose due to damage or aging.
Fluorescently labeled cells were then compared to cells that did not contain the protein and therefore did not come into contact with a tumor.
The scientists discovered that the labeled cells in the lungs of mice & # 39; stem cell-like features & # 39; in contrast to the cells found outside the surrounding tissue of the tumor.
They then mixed the & # 39; stem cells & # 39; of the mice with tumors in the laboratory, which supported the growth of the cancers.
In a second part of the experiment, the researchers collaborated with scientists from the MRC Stem Cell Institute of Wellcome Trust.
Together the scientists used the & # 39; stem cells & # 39; of the mice to make lung organoids.
These are small tissue cultures derived from stem cells that can be used by the Harvard Stem Cell Institute to replicate the complexity of an organ.
The non-labeled healthy lung cells of the mice formed organoids that were usually composed of the cells along the vesicles where the gas exchange takes place.
However, the labeled cells from the surrounding tissue of the tumor formed organoids with a wider range of cell types.
& # 39; To our surprise, we found that cells that received proteins from adjacent cancer cells acquired stem cell-like characteristics, & # 39; said study author Dr. Joo-Hyeon Lee.
& # 39; They can change their destiny to become different cell types. It shows the powerful influence that cancer has on its adjacent cells, making them easy to change. & # 39;
The researchers hope that their research will encourage other scientists to investigate the changes that cancer cells cause to survive, spread and become resistant to treatment.
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