Navigation Links
All cancer cells are not created equal
Date:5/15/2012

A study from Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) researchers suggests that specific populations of tumor cells have different roles in the process by which tumors make new copies of themselves and grow. In their report in the May 15 issue of Cancer Cell, researchers identify a tumor-propagating cell required for the growth of a pediatric muscle tumor in a zebrafish model and also show that another, more-differentiated tumor cell must first travel to sites of new tumor growth to prepare an environment that supports metastatic growth.

"Most investigators have thought that tumor-propagating cells what are sometimes called cancer stem cells must be the first colonizing cells that travel from the primary tumor to start the process of local invasion and metastasis, but in this model, this is simply not the case," says David Langenau, PhD, of the MGH Department of Pathology and Center for Cancer Research, who led the study. "Instead, the colonizing cells lack the ability to divide and instead prime newly infiltrated regions for the eventual recruitment of slow-moving cancer stem cells. It will be important to test how broadly this phenomenon is found in a diversity of animal and human cancers."

Langenau's team has long been using zebrafish to study rhabdomyosarcoma (RMS), an aggressive pediatric cancer. In embryonic zebrafish, RMS can develop within 10 days, and since the tiny fish are transparent at that stage, fluorescent markers attached to particular cellular proteins can easily be imaged. The current study used these properties to monitor how specific populations of tumor cells develop and their role in initiating new tumor growth.

Previous research from the MGH team had discovered that RMS cells expressing marker proteins also seen on muscle progenitor cells had significantly more tumor-propagating potential than did other tumor cells. Fluorescently labeling proteins associated with different stages of cellular differentiation revealed distinct populations of RMS cells in the zebrafish model. Cells expressing the progenitor cell marker myf5, were labeled green, and those expressing myogenin, a marker of mature muscle cells, were labeled red.

In a series of experiments, the research team confirmed that myf5-expressing RMS cells had powerful tumor-propagating potential, but the ability to visualize how tumor cells move in living fish produced a surprising observation. While myf5-expressing cells largely remained within the primary tumor itself, myogenin-expressing RMS cells easily moved out from the tumor, entering the vascular system and passing through usually impenetrable layers of collagen. Only after the more-differentiated but non-proliferative myogenin-expressing cells had colonized an area did the myf5-expressing tumor-propagating cells appear and start the growth a new tumor. Imaging the labeled tumor cells also revealed that different cellular populations tended to cluster in different areas of later-stage tumors.

"Our direct in-vivo imaging studies are the first to suggest such diverse cellular functions in solid tumors, based on differentiation and the propensity for self-renewal," says Myron Ignatius, PhD, of MGH Pathology and Center for Cancer Research, the study's first author. "I think we will find that this kind of division of labor is a common theme in cancer, especially given that the vast majority of cells within a tumor are not tumor-propagating cells. We suspect there will be molecularly defined populations that make niches for tumor-propagating cells, secrete factors to recruit vasculature and create boundaries to suppress immune cell invasion."

Langenau adds, "Division of labor is a new and emerging concept in cancer research that we hope will lead to new targets for rationally designed therapies. In rhabdomyosarcoma it will be important to target both the tumor-propagating cells and the highly migratory colonizing cells for distruction a major focus of ongoing studies in our group." Langenau is an assistant professor of Genetics at Harvard Medical School and a principal faculty mmber at the Harvard Stem Cell Institute.


'/>"/>

Contact: Sue McGreevey
smcgreevey@partners.org
617-724-2764
Massachusetts General Hospital
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. A marker in the lining of the lungs could be useful diagnostic technique for lung cancer screening
2. Video-assisted thoracic surgery valuable tool in lung cancer screening
3. Cancer vaccine combination therapy shows survival benefit in breast cancer
4. Study highlights need for coordination of care in stage 2 and 3 rectal cancer treatment
5. John Theurer Cancer Center hosting 8th Annual Neuro-Oncology Symposium
6. Study examines BI-RADS and MRI in predicting breast cancer
7. Early biomarker for pancreatic cancer identified
8. Fertilizing bone marrow helps answer why some cancers spread to bones
9. Genetic test identifies eye cancer tumors likely to spread
10. Scientists make breakthrough in bile duct cancer with discovery of new gene mutations
11. Drug kills cancer cells by restoring faulty tumor suppressor
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:5/26/2016)... Washington, DC (PRWEB) , ... May 26, 2016 , ... ... the National Hot Dog and Sausage Council (NHDSC) suggests that Americans prefer their dogs ... hot dogs, 63 percent say grilling is their favorite way to cook a hot ...
(Date:5/26/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... May 26, 2016 , ... ... and clinical outcomes, hosted members and suppliers for its inaugural Member Conference at ... on their mission of elevating the operational health of America’s healthcare providers. , ...
(Date:5/26/2016)... , ... May 26, 2016 , ... On Memorial Day, ... women who lost their lives in military battle for the country. The nonprofit ... 2015 to provide more programs that empower independence for disabled military veterans, as well ...
(Date:5/26/2016)... ... May 26, 2016 , ... There are nearly 14.5 ... 32 million cancer survivors worldwide. On Sunday, June 5, 2016, communities around the world ... Cancer Survivors Day®. , National Cancer Survivors Day® is an annual worldwide Celebration ...
(Date:5/26/2016)... Farmingdale, NY (PRWEB) , ... May 26, 2016 ... ... and Hereditary Retinal Degeneration” for the Foundation Fighting Blindness, Long Island Chapter on ... free to the public. , Dr. Maisel, founder of Retina Group of ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:5/24/2016)... , May 24, 2016 ... médica para ayudar a los médicos a compartir sus ... pacientes a escala mundial. Profesionales médicos de Europa, África, ... se han apuntado a la aplicación, que combina la ... un entorno totalmente seguro. Educación   ...
(Date:5/24/2016)... , May 24, 2016  Diana Russell suffers ... her organs from the inside out.  This disease has ... dependent on her children and grandchildren to leave her ... wheelchair, Diana,s family cannot haul the wheelchair.  So if ... the car, and Diana is left to wait for ...
(Date:5/24/2016)... , May 24, 2016 Celsion ... drug development company, today provided an update on ... escalating clinical trial combining GEN-1, the Company,s DNA-based ... treatment of newly-diagnosed patients with advanced ovarian cancer ... debulking surgery.  GEN-1 is an IL-12 DNA plasmid ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: