New 3D mammary gland model 'will aid future breast cancer research'

28 October 2016

An innovative three-dimensional mammary gland model has been developed by UK researchers that could aid understanding of the mechanisms of breast cancer.

A team from Cardiff University has worked with Monash Biomedicine Discovery Institute to grow mouse mammary cells into 3D mammary tissue, using a cocktail of growth factors.

The resulting organoid replicates the structure and function of a real mammary gland, making it easier for researchers to understand how breast tissue develops, while also providing an active model for the study of disease and drug screening.

As well as determining how to grow these mammary gland models, the researchers were also able to maintain them in culture to allow ongoing experimentation for the first time in a laboratory setting.

Professor Trevor Dale of the University of Cardiff's school of biosciences said: "Developing a model of a normal breast with the actual architecture of a mammary gland has long been a Holy Grail for cancer researchers."

This could potentially revolutionise future research into the treatment of what remains the single most common type of cancer in women.

Posted by Edward Bartel

 


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