Navigation Links
Boston University research suggests new pathways for cancer progression
Date:2/9/2012

BOSTON (2-8-12) Observing that certain cancer cells may exhibit greater flexibility than normal cells, some scientists believe that this capability promotes rapid tumor growth. Now computer simulations developed by Boston University Biomedical Engineering Assistant Professor Muhammad Zaman and collaborators at the University of Texas at Austin appear to support this view. A 3D model of healthy and cancer cells that they've created indicates that the softening of cancer cells not only accelerates their proliferation but also extends their lifetimea one-two punch that may trigger the rapid growth of malignant tumors.

The team's simulations and findings herald a new, quantitative approach to understanding tumor development centered on a small number of mechanical properties rather than multiple biochemical factors.

"Our study is unique in that it takes into account in vivo data on the mechanical properties of cancer cells," said Zaman. "Our novel computer simulation provides a platform to examine how stiffness of cancer cells influences their growth, and could lead to the development of early interventions."

Combining Zaman's expertise in cancer and cell migration with UT-Austin Chemical Engineering Professor Roger Bonnecaze's knowledge of fluid mechanics and postdoctoral fellow Parag Katira's computer simulation skills, the researchers produced a 3D computer model that systematically traces the impact of cell softness and other mechanical factors on cell behavior within a tissue. The model represents each cell as a liquid core encased by a spherical, viscous, elastic shell that can bind or stick to other cells to form a tissue-like mass. In simulations, individual cells are programmed to live, die or divide based on a set of rules drawn from real-time, in vivo experiments with tumor cells.

To emulate tumor growth, the researchers established a baseline simulation of tissue composed exclusively of hard-shelled, healthy cells, and then introduced a small number of soft-shelled, mutant cancer cells. When that number reached eight, the mutants began to multiply at a much higher rate than normal cells, and the more mutants introduced, the higher the rate. Interpreting this phenomenon as the emergence of a tumor, the researchers speculated that a cluster of at least eight soft mutant cells is needed to overcome the resistance of neighboring stiff, normal cells so that the mutants can stretch and divide rapidly.

The team also modeled the strength at which cancer cells stick to one another, and varied both cell softness and stickiness in several simulations. They found that increasing softness, rather than varying stickiness, led to the most substantial increase in tumor growth.

"This study focused only on the first step in tumor growth," said Zaman. "Our next step is to set up computational experiments to determine what leads tumors to metastasize. Our computer simulations will also allow us to model breast, prostate and other cancerseven different stages within those diseasesmuch more efficiently than in laboratory experiments."

The team research was funded by the National Institutes of Health and was published in the January 11 online edition of American Physical Society's journal Physical Review Letters.


'/>"/>

Contact: Mike Seele
mseele@bu.edu
617-353-9766
Boston University College of Engineering
Source:Eurekalert  

Related medicine news :

1. Boston University researcher awarded 2 NIH grants
2. Dana-Farber/Childrens Hospital Boston study identifies possible therapy for radiation sickness
3. Researchers from Boston University receive grant to develop improved virus detection system
4. Boston researchers share in $10 million grant to study HIV and alcohol
5. Institute for Aging Research study finds Bostons elderly homeless sicker than others
6. Boston Medical Center awarded $1M to expand HIV/AIDS patient care services
7. Boston University School of Medicine professor honored by the Endocrine Society
8. Boston Medical Center chief honored by AUA
9. Boston University researchers validate important roles of iPSCs in regenerative medicine
10. Boston University researchers find most substance-dependent individuals report poor oral health
11. Boston University School of Medicine professor receives award for quality of care research
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Boston University research suggests new pathways for cancer progression
(Date:2/8/2016)... ... 2016 , ... Coast Dental has a new way to help parents keep ... family dentist Yvonne Dorrian, DMD, is hosting a free seminar on Friday, February 19 ... Target at 1207 North Peachtree Parkway in Peachtree City. Dr. Dorrian will have healthy ...
(Date:2/8/2016)... ... 08, 2016 , ... If you are feeling that your clothes are a ... According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 34.9% of U.S. adult ... types of cancer, some of the leading causes of preventable death. February is ...
(Date:2/8/2016)... Francisco, CA (PRWEB) , ... February 08, 2016 , ... ... raise $792,000 to help combat pancreatic cancer. , Gary D. Radine, who recently retired ... also was the American Cancer Society’s 2015 CEO of the Year , helped ...
(Date:2/8/2016)... ... February 08, 2016 , ... Discover the Rocky Mountain region’s ... booths and 700 companies. Attendees also get to see the most incredible gardens ... & Home Show , at the Colorado Convention Center - 700 14th St. Denver ...
(Date:2/8/2016)... ... February 08, 2016 , ... Guruji Mahendra Kumar Trivedi ... and 11th, 2016 in honor of his birthday on February 10th. During this ... Mahendra Trivedi is known by over 250,000 people from over 40 different countries as ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:2/8/2016)... COTTONWOOD HEIGHTS, Utah , Feb. 8, 2016 ... manufacturer and distributor of advanced-technology medical devices and ... and related markets, congratulates the Denver Broncos, football ... Kelvyn H. Cullimore Jr. , Chairman and ... tradition of excellence and we look forward to ...
(Date:2/8/2016)... Feb. 8, 2016 Palatin Technologies, Inc. ... receptor-specific peptide therapeutics for the treatment of diseases ... announced today that the United States Patent and ... Allowance for U.S. Patent Application Serial Number 14/313,258 ... methods of treating female sexual dysfunction using the ...
(Date:2/8/2016)... HOUSTON , 8. Februar 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... veröffentlichte heute eine Infografik mit dem Titel ... ganzen Welt), mit der der Krankheit gegenüber ... die dazu ermutigen soll, Medikamentenresistenz bei Epilepsie ... der allgemeinen Diskussion zu machen. Mithilfe der ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: