Study identifies how 3 cells lead to breast cancer spread

27 November 2014

A new study has suggested that three cells could encourage breast cancer to spread, which could help to lead to new treatments. Earlier studies have found that contact between three specific cells lead to the spread of breast cancer. 

When an endothelial cell (a cell that lines blood vessels), a perivascular macrophage (an immune cell found near blood vessels) and a tumour cell that produces high amounts of mean (a protein that helps cancer's spread) come into contact, tumour cells can enter blood vessels, resulting in a site called tumour microenvironment of metastasis (TMEM).

If a tumour has a high number of TMEM sites, it is more likely to metastasise. Previous research also found that an invasive form of Mena (MenaINV) led to a further increased chance of metastasis.

Researchers from the Albert Einstein Cancer Center and Montefiore Einstein Center for Cancer Care (MECC) built on these findings with a study that included 40 patients for a 2011 study and 60 new patients. 

It was found that the cells able to cross the endothelial layer in the assay had higher MenaINV compared to the total number of aspirated cells. 

Posted by Edward Bartel 


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