Recent Study Shows Stromal Cells From Bone Marrow Boosts Breast Cancer Growth
A recent study conducted by Professor Neta Erez of the Sackler School of Medicine at Tel Aviv University has shown that stromal cells produced in the bone marrow can fuel the growth of cancerous breast tumors.
In breast cancer, tumors are often surrounded by a variety of cells that fuel the growth of cancer by aiding in the creation of new blood vessels, causing inflammation, and increasing the multiplication of cancerous cells. These non-cancerous cells that aid the growing tumor often come from tissue in the surrounding area. For example, in breast cancer, these fibroblasts frequently originate in the breast tissue.
Professor Erez and her fellow researchers found that fibroblasts that come from bone marrow actually play a large role in the growth of the tumor. They studied mice with breast cancer and discovered that these cells that are recruited from the bone marrow are especially effective in the formation of blood vessels.
This creation of new blood vessels is beneficial to cancer because it allows for oxygen and nutrients to reach the tumor, but it is detrimental to the patient because this fuels the growth of the cancerous cells.
Erez is optimistic that this new research will lead to new methods of treatment that take advantage of the discoveries. She stated “Understanding the function of these cancer-associated fibroblasts could form the basis of developing novel therapeutic manipulations that co-target bone marrow-derived fibroblasts as well as the cancer cells themselves.”
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