Research Could Help Quickly Identify Some Types Of Cancer Cells

Research performed at the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology could eventually help quickly identify metastatic cells, such as those found in breast cancers, according to researchers.
“A critical step in metastases formation is cancer-cell invasion through tissue,” according to the article published in the Annals of Biomedical Engineering.

“During invasion, cells change morphology and apply forces to their surroundings,” the article states. “[Researchers] previously have shown that single, metastatic breast-cancer cells will mechanically indent a synthetic, impenetrable polyacrylamide gel with physiological-stiffness in attempted invasion; benign breast cells do not indent the gels.”
In solid tumors, e.g., breast cancers, metastases occur predominantly by collective cell-invasion. Thus, researchers evaluated the effects of cell proximity on mechanical invasiveness, specifically through changes in gel indention.

"Proximity of the metastatic cells enhances their mechanical ability to invade, demonstrating why collective cancer-cell migration is likely more efficient,” researcher Daphne Weihs told BMES. “This could potentially provide a rapid, quantitative approach to identify metastatic cells and also determine their metastatic potential." CLICK HERE to view the full article.