Tags: Cancer | implant | trips | spreading | cancer | cells | metatasize

Implant Traps Spreading Cancer Cells

Implant Traps Spreading Cancer Cells
(Copyright AP)

By    |   Wednesday, 09 September 2015 03:06 PM


Breast cancer will kill more than 42,000 women in the United States this year.

Deaths occur when the cancer metastasizes, the result of cancer cells breaking off the original tumor and spreading throughout the body.

Metastases invade other organs, and limit effective treatments.

Ordinarily, metastases are undetected until the functions of other organs are affected, says an article published at Nature.com.

Being able to detect metastasis when the circulating tumor cells (CTCs) first begin spreading throughout the body would enable scientists to start treatment early before the cancer becomes overwhelming and extremely difficult to stop.

Researchers at the University of Michigan have achieved that goal — at least in mice.
They used an implanted scaffold that helps researcher distinguish CTCs from healthy cells, based on their ability to move, and then analyze them.

The scaffold captures cells which are highly mobile, since scientists believe that the most active cells are the ones that cause metastases.

The tiny implant, which is only about 5mm in diameter, was implanted in the abdominal cavity or under the skin of mice with breast cancer where it seized CTCs that were circulating in the blood.

In addition to capturing spreading cells, the device also reduced numbers present at other sites where the disease had metastasized.

"Understanding the physical behavior and nature of these circulating tumor cells will certainly help us understand better one of the most difficult questions in cancer biology — the metastatic cascade, that is, how the disease spreads," said Jianping Fu, assistant professor of mechanical engineering and biomedical engineering.

"Our system could provide an efficient and powerful way to capture the live circulating tumor cells and use them as a surrogate to study the metastatic process," Fu said.

Study lead Lonnie Shea said human trials would begin soon.

"We need to see if metastatic cells will show up in the implant in humans like they did in the mice, and also if it's a safe procedure and that we can use the same imaging to detect cancer cells," he told BBC News.

"We urgently need new ways to stop cancer in its tracks," Lucy Holmes, Cancer Research UK's science information manager, told the BBC.

"So far this implant approach has only been tested in mice, but it's encouraging to see these results, which could one day play a role in stopping cancer spread in patients."

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Breast cancer will kill more than 42,000 women in the United States this year. Deaths occur when the cancer metastasizes, the result of cancer cells breaking off the original tumor and spreading throughout the body. Metastases invade other organs, and limit effective...
implant, trips, spreading, cancer, cells, metatasize
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2015-06-09
Wednesday, 09 September 2015 03:06 PM
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