Scientists May Have Found A Way To Stop Cancer From Metastasizing

World (Medical News Today)- Scientists may have found a way to stop cancer from metastasizing: Metastasis is the main cause of death in cancer, and current treatments against it are ineffective. But new research may have found a way to slow down, and perhaps even halt, the spread of cancer cells. Metastasis is the process by which cancer spreads throughout the body. During this process, cancer cells may either invade nearby healthy tissue, penetrate the walls of lymph nodes, or enter the surrounding blood vessels.

But new research may have found a way to control metastasis by inhibiting the migration of cancer cells. Stopping the cells from migrating is key in stopping metastasis.

What enables cancer cells to migrate is a set of protrusions that help them to move. The team of researchers – led by Mostafa El-Sayed, Julius Brown Chair and Regents Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry at Georgia Tech’s School in Atlanta, GA – managed to successfully cut off these protrusions using a special technique.

The findings were published in the journal PNAS

 Breaking cancer cells’ ‘legs’

The long, thin protrusions that help cancer cells to move are called filopodia. They are an extension of a set of “broad, sheet-like” fibers called lamellipodia, which can be found around the edges of the cell.

The suffix “-podia” (or “-podium,” singular) comes from the Greek language and means “something footlike.”

Essentially, lamellipodia and filopodia are tiny “legs” that help healthy cells to move within the tissue. But in cancerous cells, lamellipodia and filopodia are produced in excess.

The researchers used so-called nanorods, made of gold nanoparticles, to obstruct these tiny legs.

With the help of nanotechnology, scientists are able to reduce the size of certain materials to a nanoscale – with “nano” meaning the billionth part of a meter – at which point these materials start to show new chemical and physical properties.

Prof. El-Sayed and colleagues introduced the nanorods locally. The nanorods were covered with a coating of molecules, called RGD peptides, that made them attach to a specific kind of protein called integrin.

“The targeted nanorods tied up the integrin and blocked its functions, so it could not keep guiding the cytoskeleton to overproduce lamellipodia and filopodia,” explains co-author Yan Tang, a postdoctoral assistant in computational biology.

A cytoskeleton is the support structure of a cell, responsible for giving it a shape. It also has additional functions, with one of them being to form the filopodia protrusions.

 Method could kill cancer cells

The experiments revealed that simply binding the nanorods to the integrin delayed the migration of the cancer cells.

Importantly, this method avoided healthy cells, which could make this therapy drastically less damaging for patients who undergo toxic chemotherapy treatment.

“There are certain, specific integrins that are overproduced in cancerous cells,” explains Moustafa Ali, one of the study’s first authors. “And you don’t find them so much in healthy cells.”

In the second stage of the experiment, Prof. El-Sayed and team heated the gold nanoparticles with a laser of near-infrared light. This effectively stopped the migration of the malignant cells.

The light was not absorbed by the cells, but the gold nanorods absorbed it, and as a result, they heated up and partially melted cancer cells they are connected with, mangling lamellipodia and filopodia.” Moustafa Ali

In this experiment, not all cancer cells were killed, as this would have prevented the researchers from examining whether or not they successfully stopped them from migrating. However, the researchers say that the method could be adjusted to kill the malignant cells.

Prof. El-Sayed and his colleagues have previously conducted similar experiments in mice, in which they applied the same method. The former research found no toxicity from the gold for up to 15 months after the treatment.

The researchers hope to soon be able to treat “head, neck, breast, and skin cancers with direct, local nanorod injections combined with the low-power near-infrared laser.”

The laser could reach the gold nanorods at 4 to 5 centimeters deep inside the tissue, and deeper tumors could be treated with deeper nanorods injections, the authors say.

Please send us your Feedback, News Item, Photos and/or Videos to our WhatsApp Number 1-876-353-1389 or Email [email protected]

Recently Published

Schoolgirl, 12, who shaved her head to raise money for a cancer charity is left in tears after cruel bullies call her 'ugly'

Schoolgirl, 12, who shaved her head to raise money for a cancer charity is left in tears after cruel bullies call her ‘ugly’

A 12-year-old schoolgirl was mocked for shaving her head in honour of her grandmother, a cancer survivor. Kyarah Doyle, from New South Wales, took part in the Leukemia Foundation World’s Greatest Shave on Thursday. The Inverell High School student raised more than $1000 for the charity by shaving off her long brown hair. But despite her […]

Barrington Levy Sister
Tank-1-670x450

CEO says PCDF has Accomplished Mission

Jamaica News: Chief Executive Officer (CEO) at the PetroCaribe Development Fund (PCDF), Dr. Wesley Hughes, says the PCDF has accomplished its mission, and will be integrated into the Ministry of Finance and the Public Service as of March 31, 2019. Speaking at a JIS ‘Think Tank’ on March 15, Dr. Hughes said that all assets […]

RAF-3-1-670x450

Country Embarks on Next Phase of Economic Reforms

Jamaica News: Minister of Finance and the Public Service, Dr. the Hon. Nigel Clarke, says the country is now embarking on the next phase of economic reforms, which will ensure that monetary policy delivers low, stable and predictable inflation. This strategy, referred to as “inflation targeting”, is a monetary policy regime in which a central […]

JAMPRO-670x450

JAMPRO Leads Cosmetics Manufacturers to Trade Show in New Orleans

Jamaica News: The Jamaica Promotions Corporation (JAMPRO) will be leading a team of local cosmetics manufacturers to participate in the Bronner Brothers International Beauty Show in New Orleans, United States, from March 30 to April 1. The annual beauty show, which is one of the largest of its kind in North America, attracts more than […]

DSC4335-670x450

Maritime Authority to Push for Blue Economy Legislation

Jamaica News: Director General of the Maritime Authority of Jamaica (MAJ), Rear Admiral (Ret’d) Peter Brady, says the agency will be pushing for legislation governing exploration and development of a sustainable blue economy. The blue economy refers to the utilisation of the resources of the ocean for economic benefits, while ensuring the sustainability and productivity […]