How cancerous tumors form has been a topic of interest for cancer researchers. Now a new study conducted at the University of Iowa (UI) offers important information underlying tumor formation. A team of researchers studied the 3D recordings of movements of cancerous human breast tissue cells in real time. They observed that tumorigenic cells, the cells that form tumors, actively seek neighboring cells – both healthy and cancerous – and extend to them a cellular cable, thus making them a part of a tumor. They continue latching on to newer cells and pull them in causing the tumor to enlarge. Remarkably, the researchers found that even 5% of cancerous cells can form a tumor. David Soll, senior and corresponding author and a UI biology professor, believes that the tumorigenic cells engage in this behavior as they are originally programed to form embryos. Therefore, they are capable of forming tumors in multiple parts of the body simultaneously. These findings are extremely vital to develop treatment methods and antibodies to stop tumors from forming and enlarging.
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