Thursday, February 5, 2009

Mouse Under Glass Helps Fight Breast Cancer


I am always amazed at how creative and sometimes simple medical science can be. Take the Mouse Under Glass technique. It's a way researchers can see how cancer cells spread. Here's the details from TopCancerNews.com:

"The new method involves the placement of a frame containing a small glass window onto the breast tumor of a mouse formed from cancerous cells that have a specific tag. Through the glass, individual breast tumor cells are targeted with a laser that 'marks' the cancer cells red. By viewing the cells through the window using a microscope, researchers can follow the cells as they spread. The mouse can move around and live normally with the glass plate and then be anesthetized briefly for observance under the microscope. The marked cancer cells are followed over a period of days until they lose their brightness.

Using this technique, investigators found that breast cancer cells closer to blood vessels were more aggressive and directed in their invasiveness than cancer cells farther from blood vessels. The cancer cells near blood vessels also appeared in the lung indicating that they are disseminated throughout the body.

As co-lead author, Bojana Gligorijevic Ph.D., explained, "Our work showed how important the microenvironment of a tumor is to the behavior of a cancer cell and the metastatic outcome of the tumor itself. We can now look at the early steps of metastasis in high resolution and specific regions of the tumor."

To read this entire article, please go to this page on TopCancerNews.com.

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