The micro-environment of breast cancer in three dimensions


Sumary of The micro-environment of breast cancer in three dimensions:

  • Now, Penn State researchers have developed a way to study the relationship between solid, difficult-to-treat tumors and the microenvironment they create to support their growth..
  • The method has the potential to act as a testbed for drugs and other anticancer treatments, according to Ibrahim T..
  • Using metastatic triple-negative breast cancer cells — the most aggressive breast cancer, for which there are few treatments — and specialized modeling techniques, the researchers cultivated tumor microenvironments..
  • “We brought together the tumor and its microenvironment and studied how the embedded tumor affects its surrounding matrix,”.
  • Typically, researchers examine the genetic information of single cells in a system to understand which signals are being sent and received to encourage specific behaviors..
  • “The result was a far more representative understanding of how cells talk to each other in the native conditions.”.
  • They found that the physiological changes in tumor behavior — such as growth or movement — are a direct result of cellular communication in the tumor’s microenvironment..
  • Cancer cells communicate with the cells lining blood vessels, called endothelial cells, that also control the exchange of materials between blood and the extracellular environment..
  • Cancer also communicates with the cells that secrete collagen to produce the scaffolding of tissues, called fibroblasts..
  • To test their approach, the researchers 3D-bioprinted tumor models called spheroids in a microenvironment to see how distance might influence tumor growth..
  • “We asked, ‘Can proximity increase cancer aggressiveness?’ and we found that there is a critical distance,”…

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