Navigation Links
Study reveals mechanisms cancer cells use to establish metastatic brain tumors
Date:2/27/2014

NEW YORK, NY, February 27, 2014 New research from Memorial Sloan Kettering provides fresh insight into the biologic mechanisms that individual cancer cells use to metastasize to the brain. Published in the February 27 issue of Cell, the study found that tumor cells that reach the brain and successfully grow into new tumors hug capillaries and express specific proteins that overcome the brain's natural defense against metastatic invasion.

Metastasis, the process that allows some cancer cells to break off from their tumor of origin and take root in a different tissue, is the most common reason people die from cancer. Metastatic brain tumors are ten times more common than primary brain cancers.

Yet most tumor cells die before they can take root in the brain, which is better protected than most organs against colonization by circulating tumor cells. To seed in the brain, a cancer cell must dislodge from its tumor of origin, enter the bloodstream, and cross densely packed blood vessels called the blood-brain barrier. Until now, little research has been done into how metastatic brain tumors develop, but previous mouse experiments that imaged metastatic breast cancer cells over time have shown that of those cancer cells that do make it to the brain, fewer than one in 1,000 survive.

"We didn't know why so many of these cells die," says Joan Massagu, PhD, Director of the Sloan Kettering Institute and senior author of the study. "What kills them? And how do occasional cells survive in this vulnerable state sometimes hiding out in the brain for years to eventually spawn new tumors? What keeps these rare cells alive and where do they hide?"

In the Cell study, Dr. Massagu, with Fellow Manuel Valiente, PhD, and other team members, found that in mouse models of breast and lung cancer two tumor types that often spread to the brain many cancer cells that enter the brain are killed by astrocytes. These killer cells, the most common type of brain cell, secrete a protein called Fas ligand.

When cancer cells encounter this protein, they are triggered to self-destruct. The exceptional cancer cells that escape the astrocytes do so by producing a protein called Serpin, which acts as a sort of antidote to the death signals fired at them by nearby astrocytes.

After imaging defiant metastatic cells in the brains of mice, researchers noticed that the cells that were able to survive grew on top of blood capillaries, each cell sticking closely to its vessel "like a panda bear hugging a tree trunk," Dr. Massagu says. They found that the tumor cells produce a protein that acts like Velcro to attach the cells to the outer wall of a blood vessel.

"This hugging is clearly essential," Dr. Massagu explains. "If a tumor cell detaches from its vessel, it gets killed by nearby astrocytes. By staying on, it gets nourished and protected, and may eventually start dividing to form a sheath around the vessel."

Under the microscope, the researchers watched these sheaths of cancer cells around the blood capillaries grow into tiny balls, which eventually became tumors. "Once you've seen it, you can never forget this image," Dr. Massagu says.

The tumor-cell survival factors uncovered by this study might one day be targeted with drugs to further diminish people's risk of metastasis. Dr. Massagu is particularly interested in the ability of tumor cells to hug blood vessels, as he suspects this behavior may be essential for the survival of metastatic cancer cells not only in the brain but also in other parts of the body where metastatic tumor growth can occur.

"Most cancer patients are actually at risk of having their tumor spread to multiple sites," Dr. Massagu notes. For example, breast cancers can metastasize to the bones, lungs, and liver, as well as to the brain. "What we may be looking at," he adds, "is a future way to prevent metastasis to many organs simultaneously" using drugs that make tumor cells let go of the blood vessels they cling to.


'/>"/>
Contact: Caitlin Hool
hoolc@mskcc.org
212-639-3573
Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center
Source:Eurekalert  

Related medicine news :

1. Study Suggests Vaccine May Help Kids With Brain Cancer
2. Study reveals how cancer drug causes diabetic-like state
3. Coffee Drinking in Pregnancy Wont Lead to Sleepless Baby: Study
4. Lower GI problems plague many with rheumatoid arthritis, Mayo Clinic study finds
5. Veggies Like Broccoli, Cabbage May Help Fight Breast Cancer: Study
6. No Added Cancer Risk From Hip Replacement Materials: Study
7. Reported Decline in U.S. Pneumonia Deaths May Be False: Study
8. Early Study Finds Some Promise for Lung Cancer Vaccine
9. Narcissists Often Ace Job Interviews, Study Finds
10. Sexual objectification of female artists in music videos exists regardless of race, MU study finds
11. Soy may alleviate hot flashes in menopause, large-scale study finds
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Study reveals mechanisms cancer cells use to establish metastatic brain tumors
(Date:5/22/2017)... , ... May 22, 2017 , ... An inventor from ... with a pen. "My wife’s hand was damaged in a firework accident, so she ... helps people with manual problems." , He then designed and created a prototype for ...
(Date:5/22/2017)... ... ... Galena, Alaska, has a population of less than 500 people. But, the little, ... build a nuclear plant by the TOSHIBA Corporation. , In “The Galena Nuclear Project: ... journey to get power to his small town, off the electrical grid. , “We ...
(Date:5/22/2017)... Francisco, CA (PRWEB) , ... May 22, 2017 ... ... will sponsor a program on Wellocity to empower WeightZone Factor members to ... their medications, and get an excellent health education, all on their mobile phones. ...
(Date:5/21/2017)... ... ... was found dead on the night of Wednesday, May 17, 2017. It can be difficult ... industry would take his own life, but the extremely talented and admired singer and ... in the death of Chris Cornell . , Depression and Drug Use , Cornell ...
(Date:5/21/2017)... ... May 20, 2017 , ... GetLinked® software ... and financial systems. , Dozens of clubs using ABC Financial Services are ... through GetLinked into their club’s accounting system , The latest implementation is ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:5/22/2017)... COTTAGE, N.Y. , May 22, 2017 /PRNewswire/ ... antiviral treatment Gene-Eden-VIR/Novirin, announces the launch of a ... plain English, the results of a clinical study ... one year treatment with Gene-Eden-VIR/Novirin in individuals suffering ... important to note that there are no other ...
(Date:5/18/2017)... N.J. , May 18, 2017  Two Bayer ... Businesswomen,s Association (HBA) during its recent 28 th ... York City.  The event showcases HBA,s longstanding mission of ... business of healthcare. Cindy Powell-Steffen , ... Bayer,s U.S. Radiology division, and Libby Howe , ...
(Date:5/15/2017)... 15, 2017  Amy Baxter MD, chief executive officer ... noninvasive pain relief, was awarded a 2017 Top 40 ... was recognized at the MM&M Top 40 Healthcare Transformers ... on May 10, 2017. The dinner followed ... go "beyond the pill."  "Innovation goes beyond ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: