Some cancer cells survive chemotherapy –treatment of cancer - when you eat its tumor cell neighbors. According to a study published today in "the Journal of Cell Biology", this act of cannibalism provides these cancer cells the energy they need to stay alive and initiate the ' reconquista ' tumor after the patient has completed the course of treatment.
Some chemotherapy drugs, such as doxorubicin, kill cancer cells by damaging their DNA, but the ones that survive the initial treatment may suddenly give rise to recurrent tumors. This is a particular problem in the breast cancers that retain a normal copy of a gene called TP53. Instead of dying as a response to DNA damage induced by chemotherapy, these cells usually stop growing and enter a dormant state, but metabolically active, known as senescence.
In this way, in addition to survive the chemotherapy, these cancer cells senescent produce large amounts of inflammatory molecules and other factors that may promote the growth of the tumor. Therefore, the patients with breast cancer treated with chemotherapy with genes TP53 normal are likely to relapse and have survival rates are poor.
in Addition to survive the chemotherapy, these cancer cells senescent produce large amounts of inflammatory molecules and other factors that may promote tumor growth
" Understanding the properties of these cancer cells are senescent, which allow for their survival after chemotherapy treatment is extremely important , " says Crystal A. Tonnessen-Murray, researcher in the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Tulane (USA).
In the new study, Tonnessen-Murray and his colleagues discovered that, after exposure to doxorubicin or other chemotherapy drugs, the breast cancer cells that become senescent, they often happily gobble up the cancer cells in the vicinity. The researchers found this surprising behavior not only in cancer cells grown in the lab, but also in tumors that grow in the mice. The researchers also discovered that cancer cells of lung and bone are also able to engulf their neighbors after they become senescent.
The work also shows that cancer cells senescent activate a group of genes that are normally active in white blood cells that destroy invading microbes or cell debris. After ‘eating’ their neighbours, the cancer cells are senescent the digested by delivering them to lysosomes, cellular structures of acid are also very active in senescent cells.The work also shows that cancer cells senescent activate a group of genes that are normally active in white blood cells that destroy invading microbes or cell debris
that Is to say, this process helps cancer cells senescent to stay alive. Cancer cells senescent who ‘ gobbled them ’ a neighboring cell survived in culture for a longer time than the cancer cells, senescent who did not. The researchers suspect that consumed its neighbors can provide to the cancer cells senescent the energy and materials they need to survive and produce the factors that drive the relapse of the tumor.
The relevance of this work, say its authors, is that the inhibition of this process may provide new therapeutic opportunities, "because we know that they are the breast cancer patients with tumors that undergo senescence mediated by TP53 in response to chemotherapy have a poor response and survival rates are poor," concludes Jackson.Updated Date: 18 September 2019, 02:00