Novel 3D Model Provides Early Insights on Breast Cancer Spread

Novel 3D Model Provides Early Insights on Breast Cancer Spread
Mesenchymal stem cells — cells that can give rise to many cell types and travel to tumor sites — can reduce the capacity of breast cancer cells to spread to other regions in the body, according to an early study using a new laboratory model. The study, "Determining Conditions for Successful Culture of Multi-Cellular 3D Tumour Spheroids to Investigate the Effect of Mesenchymal Stem Cells on Breast Cancer Cell Invasiveness," was published in the journal Bioengineering.

Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are a type of stem cells found predominantly in the bone marrow, which are able to renew themselves and give rise to multiple cell types, including bone, cartilage, muscle, and fat cells. For that reason, they are important for regenerating and repairing damaged areas in the body.

Multiple studies have implicated MSCs in tumor development and metastasis, or the spreading of cancer cells from a primary tumor to other tissues and organs in the body via the blood or lymphatic system. Though MSCs naturally migrate toward "invasive" tumors, meaning tumors with a high capacity to spread, how both cell populations interact and affect each other is still unclear. Prior studies have provided conflicting information, with some finding that MSCs promote metastasis and others concluding that they prevent it from happening.

In this study, researchers set out to tackle this que

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