Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Fibroblasts contribute to melanoma tumor growth

Date:
January 9, 2012
Source:
H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute
Summary:
Fibroblasts, cells that play a role in the structural framework of tissues, play an apparent role in melanoma tumor growth. Fibroblasts also contribute to melanoma drug resistance and may also facilitate the "flare" response when a tumor's metabolism is enhanced following a patient being removed from a targeted therapy, said researchers.

Fibroblasts, cells that play a role in the structural framework of tissues, play an apparent role in melanoma tumor growth. Fibroblasts also contribute to melanoma drug resistance and may also facilitate the "flare" response when a tumor's metabolism is enhanced following a patient being removed from a targeted therapy, said researchers at Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa, Fla.

Alexander R. Anderson, Ph.D., co-director of Integrative Mathematical Oncology at Moffitt, and Moffitt Comprehensive Melanoma Research Center member Keiran S. Smalley, Ph.D., along with colleagues from the Wistar Institute in Philadelphia, investigated the role of fibroblasts in melanoma progression and published their findings in a recent issue of Molecular Pharmaceutics.

"A role for fibroblasts in cancer progression has long been suspected," explained Anderson, who works with mathematical models of cancer to investigate tumor cell- microenvironment interactions. "In this study, we used an integrated mathematical and experimental approach to investigate whether melanoma cells recruit, activate and stimulate fibroblasts to deposit certain proteins known to be pro-survival for melanoma cells."

Fibroblasts are the most common of connective tissues, and they function to synthesize the "extra cellular matrix" of cells and collagen, the structural framework -- also called "stroma" -- for tissues.

The researchers knew that fibroblasts were drawn to cancer cells and that they became activated by cancer cells. They also knew that different cancer cell lines have varying capabilities for recruiting and stimulating fibroblasts. An expectation has been that aggressive cancers stimulate fibroblasts more than do less aggressive cancers.

When they investigated the relationship between fibroblasts and tumors using mathematical models, the research team came up with some unexpected findings.

Anderson and Smalley expected the fibroblast-derived "extra cellular matrix" that supports the tumor structure to have "direct effects on tumor behavior." However, once they ran their theoretical models they came up with a number of unexpected conclusions with potentially far-reaching implications about drug resistance and tumor growth.

"Our finding that the fibroblast population might facilitate the "flare response" -- a period during which a tumor has enhanced metabolism and increases it progression trajectory after patients are removed from targeted therapy -- was a surprise," said Smalley, whose research aims at developing new therapies for melanoma and getting them into clinical practice.

The researchers knew that a targeted therapy would kill only the tumor population, not the fibroblasts in the tumor structure. However, the finding that fibroblasts contribute to melanoma drug resistance was unexpected.

"Targeted therapies may actually hasten tumor progression when they are stopped due to resistance to the targeted drug," said Smalley. "We found in our models that fibroblasts appear to facilitate the flare response after targeted therapy ends."

Their conclusions about the relationship between fibroblasts and cancer tumors were not predicted or expected, but revealed though the use of mathematical models.

"If these conclusions are confirmed experimentally, we may gain important new insights into how drug resistance can be managed clinically," concluded Anderson.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Edward H. Flach, Vito W. Rebecca, Meenhard Herlyn, Keiran S. M. Smalley, Alexander R. A. Anderson. Fibroblasts Contribute to Melanoma Tumor Growth and Drug Resistance. Molecular Pharmaceutics, 2011; 8 (6): 2039 DOI: 10.1021/mp200421k

Cite This Page:

H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute. "Fibroblasts contribute to melanoma tumor growth." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 9 January 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/01/120105131643.htm>.
H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute. (2012, January 9). Fibroblasts contribute to melanoma tumor growth. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/01/120105131643.htm
H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute. "Fibroblasts contribute to melanoma tumor growth." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/01/120105131643.htm (accessed September 24, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Ebola Costs Keep Mounting

Ebola Costs Keep Mounting

Reuters - Business Video Online (Sep. 23, 2014) The WHO has warned up to 20,000 people could be infected with Ebola over the next few weeks. As Sonia Legg reports, the implications for the West African countries suffering from the disease are huge. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Cases Could Reach 1.4 Million Within 4 Months

Ebola Cases Could Reach 1.4 Million Within 4 Months

Newsy (Sep. 23, 2014) Health officials warn that without further intervention, the number of Ebola cases in Liberia and Sierra Leone could reach 1.4 million by January. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
WHO: Ebola Cases to Triple in Weeks Without Drastic Action

WHO: Ebola Cases to Triple in Weeks Without Drastic Action

AFP (Sep. 23, 2014) The number of Ebola infections will triple to 20,000 by November, soaring by thousands every week if efforts to stop the outbreak are not stepped up radically, the WHO warned in a study on Tuesday. Duration: 01:01 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
5 Ways Men Can Prevent Most Heart Attacks

5 Ways Men Can Prevent Most Heart Attacks

Newsy (Sep. 23, 2014) No surprise here: A recent study says men can reduce their risk of heart attack by maintaining a healthy lifestyle, which includes daily exercise. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins