Corporate Banner
Satellite Banner
RNAi
Scientific Community
 
Become a Member | Sign in
Home>News>This Article
  News
Return

'Chase and Run' Cell Movement Mechanism Explains Metastasis

Published: Thursday, June 20, 2013
Last Updated: Thursday, June 20, 2013
Bookmark and Share
A mechanism that cells use to group together and move around the body has been described for the first time by scientists at UCL.

Published in Nature Cell Biology, the new study focuses on the process that occurs when cancer cells interact with healthy cells in order to migrate around the body during metastasis. Scientists know that cancer cells recruit healthy cells and use them to travel long distances, but how this process takes place and how it could be controlled to design new therapies against cancer remains unknown.

Now, using embryonic cells called 'neural crest cells' (which are similar to cancer cells in term of their invasive behaviour) and placode cells which are the precursors for cranial nerves (the equivalent to healthy cells) researchers at UCL have started to unravel this process.

They have found that when neural crest cells are put next to placode cells they undergo a dramatic transformation and start 'chasing' the placode cells. At the same time placode cells exhibite 'escape' behaviour when contacted by neural crest cells. The chasing behavior depends on the production of small chemical molecules by the placode cells that attracts neural crest cells toward them.

The authors of the study are confident that the process whereby cancer cells attached to healthy cells in order to migrate around the body is comparable. Healthy cells of the body try to escape from tumor cells, but are followed by malignant cells because the healthy cells produce an attractant for the cancer cells.

Dr Roberto Mayor, UCL Department of Cell and Developmental Biology and lead author of the research, said: "We use the analogy of the donkey and the carrot to explain this behaviour: the donkey follows the carrot, but the carrot moves away when approached by the donkey. Similarly the neural crest cells follow the placode cells, but placode cells move away when touched by neural crest cells."

"The findings suggest an alternative way in which cancer treatments might work in the future if therapies can be targeted at the process of interaction between malignant and healthy cells to stop cancer cells from spreading and causing secondary tumours."

He added: "Most cancer deaths are not due to the formation of the primary tumor, instead people die from secondary tumors originating from the first malignant cells, which are able to travel and colonize vital organs of the body such as the lungs or the brain."


Further Information

Join For Free

Access to this exclusive content is for Technology Networks Premium members only.

Join Technology Networks Premium for free access to:

  • Exclusive articles
  • Presentations from international conferences
  • Over 2,900+ scientific posters on ePosters
  • More than 4,200+ scientific videos on LabTube
  • 35 community eNewsletters


Sign In



Forgotten your details? Click Here
If you are not a member you can join here

*Please note: By logging into TechnologyNetworks.com you agree to accept the use of cookies. To find out more about the cookies we use and how to delete them, see our privacy policy.

Related Content

DNA ‘Building Blocks’ Pave the Way for Improved Drug Delivery
DNA has been used as a ‘molecular building block’ to construct synthetic bio-inspired pores which will improve the way drugs are delivered and help advance the field of synthetic biology, according to scientists from UCL and Nanion Technologies.
Tuesday, January 19, 2016
First Human Trial for Huntington's Drug
Patients in London are being dosed for the first time with an experimental drug for Huntington’s disease.
Thursday, October 22, 2015
Smoking Signs
Research reveals epigenetic alterations caused by smoking.
Wednesday, May 20, 2015
Scientists Uncover Achilles Heel of Chronic Inflammatory Pain
BBSRC funded discovery could lead to a brand new class of drugs to treat chronic pain caused by inflammatory conditions.
Thursday, August 19, 2010
Scientific News
Cancer Cells Kill Off Healthy Neighbours
Cancer cells create space to grow by killing off surrounding healthy cells, according to UK researchers working with fruit flies.
Cancer Drug Target Visualized at Atomic Resolution
New study using cryo-electron microscopy shows how potential drugs could inhibit cancer.
Genetic Mechanism Behind Cancer-Causing Mutations
Researchers at Indiana University has identified a genetic mechanism that is likely to drive mutations that can lead to cancer.
Future of Medicine Could be Found in a Tiny Crystal Ball
A Drexel University materials scientist has discovered a way to grow a crystal ball in a lab. Not the kind that soothsayers use to predict the future, but a microscopic version that could be used to encapsulate medication in a way that would allow it to deliver its curative payload more effectively inside the body.
"Gene Fusion" Drives Childhood Brain Cancers
Study co-led by Penn scientists highlights potential targets for future cancer therapies.
Enzyme Links Age-Related Inflammation, Cancer
Researchers have shown that an enzyme key to regulating gene expression -- and also an oncogene when mutated -- is critical for the expression of numerous inflammatory compounds that have been implicated in age-related increases in cancer and tissue degeneration.
Viral Gene Editing System Corrects Genetic Liver Disease
Penn study has implications for developing safe therapies for an array of rare diseases via new gene cut-and-paste methods.
Improving Delivery of Poorly Soluble Drugs Using Nanoparticles
A technology that could forever change the delivery of drugs is undergoing evaluation by the Technology Evaluation Consortium™ (TEC). Developed by researchers at Northeastern University, the technology is capable of creating nanoparticle structures that could deliver drugs into the bloodstream orally – despite the fact that they are normally poorly soluble.
Curing Disease by Repairing Faulty Genes
New delivery method boosts efficiency of CRISPR genome-editing system.
'Junk' DNA Plays Role in Preventing Breast Cancer
Supposed "junk" DNA, found in between genes, plays a role in suppressing cancer, according to new research by Universities of Bath and Cambridge.
SELECTBIO

Skyscraper Banner
Go to LabTube
Go to eposters
 
Access to the latest scientific news
Exclusive articles
Upload and share your posters on ePosters
Latest presentations and webinars
View a library of 1,800+ scientific and medical posters
2,900+ scientific and medical posters
A library of 2,500+ scientific videos on LabTube
4,200+ scientific videos
Close
Premium CrownJOIN TECHNOLOGY NETWORKS PREMIUM FOR FREE!