Engineering cancer cell metastasis

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Science  30 Jan 2015:
Vol. 347, Issue 6221, pp. 516
DOI: 10.1126/science.347.6221.516-c

Cancer cell metastasis is not random. Breast cancer, for example, tends to metastasize to bone. To explore what underlies this selectivity, Jeon et al. took an engineering approach: They built in vitro microfluidic models that allowed them to compare how different tissue microenvironments affect the ability of breast cancer cells to exit blood vessels (extravasate) and enter surrounding tissue. They found that a bone-mimicking microenvironment was particularly potent in inducing extravasation. Adding the nucleoside adenosine to the system, which binds to breast cancer cells, reduced their extravasation, suggesting that this model might be a valuable way to screen for drugs that block metastasis.

Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 112, 214 (2015).

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