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MIT scientists discover cancer-fighting role for cells
Date:1/19/2011

cells. "This is what we mimicked with our devices," he says. "In a sense it is like putting a cellular policeman on the corner of every tumor neighborhood."

In one mouse experiment reported in the new paper, endothelial cell implants significantly slowed tumor growth and prevented gross destructive change in tumor structure. Another experiment showed that cancer cells that had been grown in the secretions of endothelial cells were less able than standard cancer cells to metastasize and colonize the lungs of mice.

The new findings could also explain why drugs that suppress angiogenesis growth of new blood vessels have shown only transient and moderate benefit for cancer patients thus far. "You starve the tumor of its blood supply, but you also damage tumor blood vessel endothelial cells, so when the tumor comes back, there's nothing to keep it in check. The vessels feed the tumor but their endothelial cells control the cancer cells within. Giving the endothelial cells without the blood vessels provides the best of both worlds and perhaps one day could provide new means of cancer therapy," says Edelman.


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Contact: Jessica Holmes
holmesj@mit.edu
617-253-2702
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Source:Eurekalert

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