Results of a new study presented at the American Society for Cell Biology in San Francisco suggests that applying physical force by squeezing the tumor cells in breast cancer patients may force the cells to grow in a normal manner.
Researchers led by Professor Daniel Fletcher conducted the study in which malignant cancer cells were allowed to grow within a gel injected into flexible silicone chambers.
The researchers then applied pressure by compressing the cells during the first stage of its growth and found that it made them grow in a more normal way. The researchers also said that the cells grew in a normal way despite the presence of genetic mutations that were responsible for the cancer.
"We are showing that tissue organization is sensitive to mechanical inputs from the environment at the beginning stages of growth and development. An early signal, in the form of compression, appears to get these malignant cells back on the right track", Fletcher said.