Reprogramming metastatic tumor cells with embryonic microenvironments

3 March 2017
Reprogramming metastatic tumor cells with embryonic microenvironments

This study was published in Nature, one of the leading journals in the world of science. The more a magazine is important the more difficult it is to publish research studies because these are scrutinized by a group of severe reviewers who verify the importance and the seriousness of the scientific work.
; In this research the anticancer properties of the embryonic microenvironment have been studied. In fact it was found that by transplanting tumor cells in a developing embryo (in this specific case the embryo of a zebrafish, a particular type of fish, was used) these are corrected by some proteins contained in the microenvironment itself.
The aggressive cells of tumors have characteristics in common with the embryonic cells due to their ability to express phenotypes (manifestation of the genes) similar to pluripotent embryonic cells that can produce various types of tissues.
Both of these types of embryonic and tumor cells are influenced by contact with the microenvironment of the surrounding tissue that determine their fate and their behavior. The adult tissues contain stem cells that can develop aberrant behavior and produce tumors.
The embryonic microenvironment may suppress the phenotypic carcinogen variant.
Melanoma cells transplanted in the microenvironment of the embryonic neural crest have been studied (in the presence of factors that regulate the development of the organs in the embryo), and the reprogramming of carcinogenic phenotype in normal phenotype has been found and the tumor is no longer generated.
Working on the embryo of zebrafish has proved the similarity of many messages coming from metastatic cells with those of normal embryonic ones.
The messages of some carcinogenic genes produced by inhibitors present in the embryo of zebrafish have stopped the growth of the tumor.
This interpretation concerning the understanding of the nature of tumor cells, may lead to new strategies in cancer care.


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