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Cornell bioengineers discover the natural switch that controls spread of breast cancer cells
Date:1/23/2013

ma, IL-6 and TNF-alpha to test their hypotheses that inflammatory molecules in blood may induce adhesion capability. All of them promoted breast cancer cell metastatic behavior.

To confirm the results, the scientists used more sophisticated, real-life 3-D tumor spheroids, which are more physiologically accurate. In fact, the spheroid tumor cells exhibited the most significant increase in the interaction between the cancer cells and the blood vessel. They also treated some of the samples with a known anti-inflammatory drug called Metformin, which blocks IL-6, and they found that these samples were not able to metastasize further accentuating their results.

Improving cancer treatment to fight metastasis via the bloodstream will depend on undoing this roll-and-stick mechanism of cancer cells, Geng says. The Cornell research could form the basis for immunotherapies to block the ligand-selectin binding of cancer cells, by first counteracting the inflammatory cytokines that, it seems, set the whole process in motion.


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Contact: John Carberry
jjc338@cornell.edu
607-255-5353
Cornell University
Source:Eurekalert

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