Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Researchers develop novel 3-D culture system for inflammatory breast cancer

Date:
December 8, 2012
Source:
Fox Chase Cancer Center
Summary:
Inflammatory breast cancer is a very rare and aggressive disease. To understand how this type of cancer spreads, it's crucial to characterize the interactions between cancer cells and their 3-D environment. Researchers have developed a novel, 3-D culture system that mimics the environment surrounding these cancer cells. This model could be used to test new anticancer drugs capable of inhibiting the spread of IBC tumors.

Inflammatory breast cancer (IBC) is a very rare and aggressive disease that progresses rapidly and is associated with a very low survival rate. To understand how this type of cancer spreads, it's crucial to characterize the interactions between cancer cells and their 3D environment. Researchers at Fox Chase Cancer Center have developed a novel, 3D culture system that mimics the environment surrounding these cancer cells. This model could be used to test new anticancer drugs capable of inhibiting the spread of IBC tumors.

"The tumor microenvironment plays a pivotal role in tumor development and progression, and it also plays a big role in restricting tumorigenesis," says senior study co-investigator Edna Cukierman, PhD, Associate Professor of Cancer Biology at Fox Chase. "So understanding the interactions between the tumor and the environment will help us to come up with new ways to target the tumor." K Alpaugh, a co-author in this collaborative work, will present the study findings at the 2012 CTRC-AACR San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium on December 8, 2012.

For the study, Cukierman, a tumor microenvironment expert, and her colleagues in the lab of Massimo Cristofanilli, MD, Professor at Fox Chase and a leading expert in inflammatory breast cancer, used tumor-associated stromal cells from patients with advanced IBC to build a 3D structure consisting of cell-derived extracellular matrix -- scaffold that provides structural and biochemical support to cells.

After culturing a plethora of established and patient-derived cancer cells in the stromal 3D system, the researchers categorized them into two groups. While some cells showed a significant increase in proliferation and resembled those seen in aggressive tumors, others were more similar to cells in less-aggressive tumors. These two types of cells modified the extracellular matrix in distinct ways, indicating that there is a dynamic interplay between cancer cells and the microenvironment.

Moreover, exposure to the matrix caused all of the cancer cells to increase their expression of the protein epithelial cadherin (i.e., E-Cadherin), whose levels are often elevated in IBC tumors. These findings suggest that the microenvironment may promote the proliferation, growth and invasion of IBC tumors.

"Our system could be used to predict the in vivo behavior of cells and to study the signaling mechanisms that are responsible for tumor-microenvironment interactions in IBC cancer," Cukierman says. "We have some gene candidates that we believe are responsible for the degree of aggressiveness we observe in the 3D model, so we would like to manipulate these genetically using mutants or pharmacologically using inhibitors to block the proteins that we believe are responsible. If that reverses the aggressiveness, it could give us a good hint of what types of targets we could perhaps try to develop and bring to the clinic in the future."

Co-investigators on this study include Xiaoshen Dong, Janusz Franco-Barraza, Zhaomei Mu, R. Katherine Alpaugh and Massimo Cristofanilli from Fox Chase.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Fox Chase Cancer Center. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Fox Chase Cancer Center. "Researchers develop novel 3-D culture system for inflammatory breast cancer." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 8 December 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/12/121208122703.htm>.
Fox Chase Cancer Center. (2012, December 8). Researchers develop novel 3-D culture system for inflammatory breast cancer. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/12/121208122703.htm
Fox Chase Cancer Center. "Researchers develop novel 3-D culture system for inflammatory breast cancer." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/12/121208122703.htm (accessed April 21, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Monday, April 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Nine-Month-Old Baby Can't Open His Mouth

Nine-Month-Old Baby Can't Open His Mouth

Newsy (Apr. 19, 2014) Nine-month-old Wyatt Scott was born with a rare disorder called congenital trismus, which prevents him from opening his mouth. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
'Holy Grail' Of Weight Loss? New Find Could Be It

'Holy Grail' Of Weight Loss? New Find Could Be It

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) In a potential breakthrough for future obesity treatments, scientists have used MRI scans to pinpoint brown fat in a living adult for the first time. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Little Progress Made In Fighting Food Poisoning, CDC Says

Little Progress Made In Fighting Food Poisoning, CDC Says

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) A new report shows rates of two foodborne infections increased in the U.S. in recent years, while salmonella actually dropped 9 percent. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists Create Stem Cells From Adult Skin Cells

Scientists Create Stem Cells From Adult Skin Cells

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) The breakthrough could mean a cure for some serious diseases and even the possibility of human cloning, but it's all still a way off. 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:
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