VIB-KU Leuven researchers identify subpopulations of melanoma cells that cause tumor growth and metastasis

VIB-KU Leuven researchers identify subpopulations of melanoma cells that cause tumor growth and metastasis
VIB-KU Leuven researchers identify subpopulations of melanoma cells that cause tumor growth and metastasis

Using a new and specialized mouse model called Met-Track, the team was able to trace melanoma cells and unravel the identity and spatial distribution of each cell within a particular melanoma tumor.

“Once we started tracking specific melanoma cell types in our sophisticated research model, we were able to find that a small fraction of cells that exhibited invasive features and were located deep in the tissue of the tumor were responsible for the metastatic lesion spread to other organs,” he said. navy.

“Once those cells started to colonize other organs like the lungs or liver, they changed identities and started to multiply in those new locations. A process of metastasis that, of course, greatly compromises the survival rate of patients. Those observations are particularly important because they show that the presence of those cells in early skin tumors is a key indicator with which we can predict the risk of metastasis.”

The Marine Lab’s recent discoveries reveal the important role of the tumor microenvironment in their further development. The insights provide a platform for identifying vulnerabilities in the tumor.

In addition, these findings could help predict the aggressiveness of a tumor at an early stage, which could eventually lead to new prevention strategies. Breaking the link between endothelial cells and the melanoma cells could lead to treatments that could slow or even prevent tumor growth.

In addition, according to the team, the findings – subject to additional research – can also be extrapolated to other cancer types, both solid cancers and hematologic tumors, blood cancers.

The Marine Lab study is published in Nature. This article is based on a press release from VIB, the Flemish Institute for Biotechnology.

The article is in Dutch

Tags: VIBKU Leuven researchers identify subpopulations melanoma cells tumor growth metastasis

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