Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Changes in tumor cells that lead to metastasis

Date:
January 16, 2012
Source:
University of Granada
Summary:
Researchers have identified the genetic and phenotypic changes that cause tumor progression and metastasis. The process of metastasis -- which is the main cause of cancer death -- is caused by tumor cells invading distant organs with no direct anatomical relationship with the organ originally affected.

Circulating Tumor Cell isolated from peripheral blood in a breast cancer patient.
Credit: Image courtesy of University of Granada

Researchers at the Centro de Genómica e Investigación Oncológica (GENYO) -of which the University of Granada, Pfizer and the Andalusian Regional Government are members- have identified the genetic and phenotypic changes that cause tumor progression and metastasis. The process of metastasis -- which is the main cause of cancer death -- is caused by tumor cells invading distant organs with no direct anatomical relationship with the organ originally affected. For this to happen, it is necessary that these cells -which researchers call "circulating tumor cells" (CTCs) -, travel to these organs through blood.

The researchers detected CTCs undergoing cell division in a breast cancer patient on systemic treatment. Thus, CTCs have been demonstrated both to be able to adapt to hostile microenvironments as blood, and to resist treatment and divide and proliferate in other organs and tissues, causing metastasis. So far, this behavior had not been observed in this type of microenvironments.

The results of this study were described in the article "Biodynamics of Circulating Tumor Cell, Tumor Microenvironment and Metastasis," published in the journals Cancer Biology & Therapy, Clinical Translational Oncoly y Annals of Oncology. The researchers found that breast cancer patients with circulating tumor cells (CTCs) at baseline tend to develop metastasis and have shorter disease-free survival after treatment. Thus, detecting CTCs during and after treatment allows physicians to identify which patients are responding favorably to chemotherapy. Consequently, patients with CTCs while receiving chemotherapy have shorter disease-free survival and lower overall survival rates. This is due to the fact that these cells are resistant to conventional treatments performed according to the genetic characteristics of the tumor. Therefore, CTCs can survive chemotherapy and produce metastasis to other organs.

More Efficient Individualized Treatments

University of Granada professor José Antonio Lorente -GENYO manager director and coordinator of the research group- affirms that the study of Circulating Tumor Cells (CTCs) is crucial "not only because they may be responsible for the development of metastasis, but also because they have genetic characteristics different to those found in the primary tumor and in metastatic cells. Such characteristics make these very aggressive cells resistant to the immunologic system and to the therapeutic agents generally used in cancer patients." Most of these treatments are targeted against proliferating tumor cells. Conversely, CTCs are found in a "dormant" phase, i.e. in a "non-proliferation" phase.

As these cells may indicate negative response to treatment, if they were isolated and genetically characterized, patients could be classified according to their chances of relapse, which would allow individualized follow-up.

The research group "Biodynamics of Circulating Tumor Cell, Tumor Microenvironment and Metastasis" is composed of Dr. María José Serrano Fernández, José Luis García Puche, Pedro Sánchez Rovira, Juan Carlos Álvarez, Lucas González Herrera, Laura Vera Rodríguez, José Javier López Caballero and José Antonio Lorente. This group has already registered a patent associated with the results of this research. This international project counts on the participation of Roche Pharma, Pangaea and Dr. Íñigo Martínez Zubiauprofessor, at the University of Tromso (Norway)


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Granada. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Granada. "Changes in tumor cells that lead to metastasis." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 16 January 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/01/120116095535.htm>.
University of Granada. (2012, January 16). Changes in tumor cells that lead to metastasis. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 1, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/01/120116095535.htm
University of Granada. "Changes in tumor cells that lead to metastasis." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/01/120116095535.htm (accessed September 1, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Monday, September 1, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Get on Your Bike! London Cycling Popularity Soars Despite Danger

Get on Your Bike! London Cycling Popularity Soars Despite Danger

AFP (Sep. 1, 2014) — Wedged between buses, lorries and cars, cycling in London isn't for the faint hearted. Nevertheless the number of people choosing to bike in the British capital has doubled over the past 15 years. Duration: 02:27 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Can You Train Your Brain To Eat Healthy?

Can You Train Your Brain To Eat Healthy?

Newsy (Sep. 1, 2014) — New research says if you condition yourself to eat healthy foods, eventually you'll crave them instead of junk food. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
We've Got Mites Living In Our Faces And So Do You

We've Got Mites Living In Our Faces And So Do You

Newsy (Aug. 30, 2014) — A new study suggests 100 percent of adult humans (those over 18 years of age) have Demodex mites living in their faces. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Liberia Continues Fight Against Ebola

Liberia Continues Fight Against Ebola

AFP (Aug. 30, 2014) — Authorities in Liberia try to stem the spread of the Ebola epidemic by raising awareness and setting up sanitation units for people to wash their hands. Duration: 00:41 Video provided by AFP
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:
from the past week

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