A group of researchers from Tumour-Host
Interaction Laboratory, The Francis Crick Institute, London; Wellcome—MRC
Cambridge Stem Cell Institute, University of Cambridge; Department of
Physiology, Development and Neuroscience, University of Cambridge and Leibniz
Institute on Aging, Fritz Lipmann Institute (FLI), Germany studied
‘Do cancer cells influence healthy cells? Yes, cancer cells influence healthy cells. A new study shows that cancer cells cause neighboring cells in the tumor microenvironment to regress into stem-cell-like states and metastasize.’
The study was
led by Ilaria Malanchi at the Crick Institute and Joo-Hyeon Lee at the
Cambridge stem cell institute.
team discovered that healthy, non-cancerous cells in the tumor
microenvironment were influenced by cancerous cells
into stem-cell-like states thereby promoting tumor growth and aiding
metastasis. They developed a labeling system for the metastatic group of cells
where the cells release cell-penetrating fluorescent protein, and this gets
into neighboring non-cancerous cells.
labeled cells can be identified with non-colored cells which have not yet been
influenced by cancerous cells. Ilaria's lab used this labeling and tagging
system to study tumor cells in mouse breast
which had spread to the lungs.
found that labeled parenchymal cells from the lung had features similar to stem
cells with a capacity to renew itself and replicate. These cells from the lungs
when mixed with tumor cells and cultured in the lab supported rapid tumor
growth and helped the cancer thrive and spread
Lee, senior author of the paper, said that cells which received proteins
from neighboring cancer cells almost turned into stem-cell-like states to
become different cell types.
can be clearly used to tag cancerous cells and their influence over surrounding
tumor microenvironments to predict and prognosticate the likelihood of
researchers hope that this system will be used by other scientists to study how
cancers survive, grow and resist treatments.
The study was
published in the journal Nature
- Metastatic-niche labelling reveals parenchymal cells with stem features - (https://doi.org/10.1038/s41586-019-1487-6)