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'Prepped' by tumor cells, lymphatic cells encourage breast cancer cells to spread
Date:9/3/2014

e metastasis, and other studies also show that they play an important role in whether or not immune cells recognize and attack cancer cells."

Popel and colleagues traced the influence of tumor signaling on LECs in cell cultures and in mice. Breast cancer cells were bathed in a nutrient-rich liquid, and, as the cancer cells grew, the investigators detected secretions of a signaling molecule called interleukin-6 (IL6) in the liquid.

Mice that were injected with the IL6-containing liquid experienced a continual rise in CCL5 levels in blood samples for several weeks. Nine of 10 tumor-bearing mice injected with the IL6-laden liquid developed metastases five weeks later. Only two of 10 mice, exposed to the liquid and given a combination of maraviroc and a VEGF-blocking drug, developed metastases.

Because maraviroc blocks the actions of CCL5, it could be delivered, along with standard chemotherapy, right after surgically removing a tumor in a bid to prevent any leftover circulating tumor cells from finding a new metastatic niche in the body, Popel says.

"However, IL6-secreting tumors could be laying the groundwork for metastasis much earlier than surgery occurs in a patient," he said. "To prevent metastatic sites from taking root, we could administer drugs that block IL6 before surgery."

The study did not address when or how to remove lymph node tissue surgically, as is often done as part of breast cancer treatment, but Popel and colleagues hope to explore the issue in future studies.


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Contact: Vanessa Wasta
wasta@jhmi.edu
410-614-2916
Johns Hopkins Medicine
Source:Eurekalert

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