Researchers found that just a small amount of bacteria entering a tumor can cause the tumor to begin to metastasize – Photo: nationthailand.com
The reason many cancers are particularly dangerous is that they can metastasize. A new study conducted by Chinese scientists has shown that bacteria in tumor cells helped the tumor relocate, while promoting cell survival during the development of the tumor. tumor.
Researchers working at the Westlake Biomedical and Life Sciences Laboratory found that bacteria can hijack tumor cells and strengthen those host cells, thereby reducing increased pressure on blood vessels.
“Our study shows that cancer cell behavior is under the control of bacteria hidden within tumours, mostly initially,” said lead author Cai Shang. they are thought to be incapable of metastasis”.
According to research published in the journal Cell, Mr. Cai and his colleagues used a research model of mice with breast cancer with a significant amount of bacteria living inside the cells, similar to human breast cancer. Bacteria in cancer tissue were about 10 times more abundant than bacteria in normal breast tissue.
They discovered that the bacteria can travel through the circulatory system with cancer cells, and that these bacteria can regulate the cell’s network of actin – a protein involved in many forms of movement. of cells, including muscle contraction.
The study also showed that these bacteria mainly translocated cancer cells, rather than affecting carcinoma in situ.
“Just a small amount of bacteria infiltrating a breast tumor can cause the tumor – which rarely metastasizes in the first place – to start metastasizing,” said Cai.
The researchers then injected antibiotics into the mice’s blood to get rid of the tumor bacteria. They found that the tumor did not shrink, but the likelihood of lung metastasis was significantly reduced. In the opposite direction, if those bacteria were injected into the body of mice, the possibility of tumor metastasis increased significantly.
The researchers explain that tumor cells in the blood tend to be destroyed under mechanical stress, but the bacteria inside can make them stronger by restructuring their skeleton.
However, the study did not clarify how the bacteria managed to get inside and grow inside cancer cells. According to the researchers, more in-depth studies will be needed to find clues in this issue in order to use antibiotics more effectively in cancer treatment.
Metastasis is a term commonly used in medicine to describe the movement of cancer cells to other parts of the body. In general, metastatic cancer has similar characteristics and properties to primary cancer (cancer that has not metastasized, is still in the original location), but their level of spread and danger is much greater. a lot of.
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