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Scientists image beginning stages of ovarian cancer growth with time-lapse technique

Date:
June 14, 2011
Source:
American Association for Cancer Research
Summary:
Scientists have created a laboratory model using time-lapse video microscopic technology that allows observation of early stages of ovarian cancer metastasis.

Image of the cancer cells (white).
Credit: Harvard University

Scientists at Harvard University have created a laboratory model using time-lapse video microscopic technology that allows observation of early stages of ovarian cancer metastasis.

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"We were able to observe key molecular mechanisms that are necessary for the force-dependent processes associated with metastasis," said Joan Brugge, Ph.D., professor and chair of cell biology at Harvard University.

These findings are published in Cancer Discovery, the newest journal of the American Association for Cancer Research. According to Brugge, who served as program chairperson for the AACR 102nd Annual Meeting 2011, ovarian cancer cells spread throughout the peritoneum by attaching to the outer cell layer of organs in this area and then clearing away this layer of cells and embedding themselves on the organ, where they then proliferate and expand.

"The reason these tumors are so morbid is that the metastatic tumors grow large enough to interfere with the function of the organs in the peritoneum," she said.

By using the time-lapse video microscopic technique, Brugge and colleagues were able to visualize the detailed sequence of events associated with insertion of tumor cells into peritoneal monolayers in cell culture, and then determine that the mechanism involves tumor cells' use of force via 5 integrin, talin I and muscle myosin II.

"Theoretically, by targeting these molecules, it may be possible to prevent the formation of new metastatic tumors," said Brugge.

The study was funded by The Dr. Miriam and Sheldon G. Adelson Medical Research Foundation and the National Institutes of Health.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Association for Cancer Research. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

American Association for Cancer Research. "Scientists image beginning stages of ovarian cancer growth with time-lapse technique." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 14 June 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/06/110614131944.htm>.
American Association for Cancer Research. (2011, June 14). Scientists image beginning stages of ovarian cancer growth with time-lapse technique. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/06/110614131944.htm
American Association for Cancer Research. "Scientists image beginning stages of ovarian cancer growth with time-lapse technique." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/06/110614131944.htm (accessed October 25, 2014).

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