Register for updates

 
 

Medicine & Health
RSS Feed
Breast Cancer Recruits Bone Marrow Cells to Increase Cancer Cell Proliferation
Monday, December 10, 2018 9:00:00 AM

Cancer-associated fibroblasts are derived from bone marrow cells called mesenchymal stromal cells, Tel Aviv University researchers say

Tel Aviv University researchers have discovered that breast cancer tumors boost their growth by recruiting stromal cells that originate in bone marrow. While the recruitment of bone marrow-derived fibroblasts lowers the odds of surviving breast cancer, the study suggests that targeting these cells with new therapies could be an effective way of treating the disease.

Research for the study was led by Prof. Neta Erez of the Department of Pathology at TAU's Sackler School of Medicine and conducted by Prof. Erez's former doctoral students Dr. Yael Raz and Dr. Noam Cohen. The study was published on November 23 in the Journal of Experimental Medicine.

Cancer cells within solid tumors are surrounded by other cell types that, though not cancerous themselves, boost tumor growth and metastasis. Breast cancer tumors, for example, contain large numbers of fibroblast cells that promote cancer cell proliferation, inflammation and the formation of new blood vessels, which then supply the growing tumor with nutrients and oxygen. Many of these cancer-associated fibroblasts derive from neighboring breast tissue, but others come from elsewhere in the body.

The TAU researchers discovered that in mice with breast cancer, a significant number of cancer-associated fibroblasts derived from bone marrow cells called mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs).

"We transplanted bone marrow in a transgenic mouse model of breast cancer to discover the origin of a unique subpopulation of cancer-associated fibroblasts," says Prof. Erez. "We found that the recruitment of bone marrow-derived fibroblasts is a crucial step in breast cancer progression.

"We discovered that breast tumors are actually able to recruit MSCs from the bone marrow and then cause them to develop into fibroblasts," Prof. Erez continues. "These bone marrow-derived fibroblasts are different from other cancer-associated fibroblasts. For example, they lack a key cell-signaling protein called PDGFRα, a surface receptor. But bone marrow-derived fibroblasts are particularly effective at stimulating the formation of new blood vessels because they produce large amounts of a protein called 'clusterin.'"

The researchers found that the tumors containing bone marrow-derived fibroblasts in mouse models were more vascularized and therefore grew faster than tumors that only contained breast tissue-derived fibroblasts.

Prof. Erez and colleagues also found that human breast cancers contain fibroblasts lacking PDGFRα. This suggests that human tumors also recruit bone marrow-derived cells. Moreover, tumors containing lower levels of PDGFRα tended to be deadlier.

"Our study shows that the recruitment of bone marrow-derived fibroblasts is important for promoting tumor growth, likely by enhancing blood vessel formation," Prof. Erez concludes. "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."




Latest News

New Yeast Model of Metabolic Disorders May Lead to Life-saving Therapies

Unicellular organism mimics pathology and symptoms of congenital diseases, TAU researchers say.

TAU-Led International Team Discovers New Way Supermassive Black Holes Are "Fed"

These "giant monsters" were observed suddenly devouring gas in their surroundings.

New Biomarker Links Cancer Progression to Genome Instability

High level of specific protein in tumors indicates prognosis as well as optimal treatments, TAU researchers say.

Microplastics and Plastic Additives Discovered in Ascidians All Along Israel's Coastline

TAU report is first to assess presence of plastic additives in Eastern Mediterranean and Red Sea marine life.

Heart Cell Defect Identified as Possible Cause of Heart Failure in Pregnancy

TAU research has diagnostic and therapeutic implications.

Sustainable "Plastics" Are on the Horizon

New sustainable biopolymer technology developed by TAU researchers may one day free the world of its worst pollutant.

Drivers Who Can "Bid" for Parking Spaces May Improve Parking Options Around the World

Parking algorithm can relieve pressure on lucrative parking areas, TAU researchers say.

Breast Cancer Recruits Bone Marrow Cells to Increase Cancer Cell Proliferation

Cancer-associated fibroblasts are derived from bone marrow cells called mesenchymal stromal cells, TAU researchers say.

Epigenetic Map May Pave Way for New Therapeutic Solutions to Hearing Loss

Understanding the expression of and controlling the genes involved in hearing are milestone discoveries, TAU researchers say.

Gas Clouds Whirling Around Black Hole Form Heart of Extremely Distant Luminous Astronomical Object

Discovery is the first detailed observation of the environs of a massive black hole outside the Milky Way.

contentSecondary
c

© 2019 American Friends of Tel Aviv University
39 Broadway, Suite 1510 | New York, NY 10006 | 212.742.9070 | info@aftau.org
Privacy policy | Tel Aviv University