Shalom Life | January 27, 2015

Israeli Study Discovers Important Cause for Cancer Growth

Study may lead to development of new methods of controlling cancer

By: NoCamels Team

Published: April 12th, 2012 in Health » Israel

Israeli Study Discovers Important Cause for Cancer Growth

New research from the Technion Rappaport Faculty of Medicine and Research Institute and the Rambam Medical Center in Haifa, Israel, may lead to the development of new methods for controlling the growth of cancer, and perhaps lead to treatments that will transform cancer from a lethal disease to a chronic, manageable one, similar to AIDS.

By placing cancer cells in and near a growth developed from a population of human stem cells, scientists have demonstrated that the cancer cells grow and proliferate more robustly when exposed to human cells than they do in a typical petri dish or mouse model. The cancer cell population is also more diverse than had previously been understood, according to the Technion.

Blocking the cancer cell’s self-renewal process

The study was published in the current advanced online issue of the journal Stem Cells. Maty Tzukerman, Rambam’s project leader and senior co-author on the report, says that this model will facilitate targeted drug discovery aimed at blocking the cancer cell’s self-renewal process.

Previous studies have determined that some tumor cells appear to be differentiated, while others retain the self-renewal property that makes cancer so deadly. According to Technion Professor Karl Skorecki, director of Medical Research and Development at Rambam Health Care Campus and senior co-author on the report, this new research attempts to understand how cancer grows, and to find ways to halt the runaway replication.

The effect of the human environment

In order to mimic the human cancer environment as closely as possible, the research team developed a teratoma — a tumor made of a heterogenous mix of cells and tissues — by enabling the differentiation of human embryonic stem cells into a variety of normally occurring human cell lines on a carrier mouse. The human cellular teratoma constitutes a new platform of healthy human cells for monitoring the behavior and proliferation of human cancer cells.

For this study, the team took cells from one woman’s ovarian clear cell carcinoma and injected them either into or alongside the human stem cell-derived environment. “We noticed very early on, rather strikingly, that the human cancer cells grow more robustly when they are in the teratoma environment compared to any other means in which we grew them, such as in a mouse muscle or under the skin of a mouse,” explains Skorecki.

The scientists were able to tease out six different kinds of self-renewing cells, based on behavior — how quickly they grow, how aggressive they are, how they differentiate — and on their molecular profile. This was a previously unknown finding, that one tumor might have such a diversity of cells with crucial fundamental growth properties. Tzukerman explains that the growth of the cancer cell subpopulations can now be explained by their proximity to the human cell environment.

The researchers cloned and expanded the six distinct cell populations and injected them into the human stem cell teratomas. One key observation is that some cells, which were not self-replicating in any other model, became self-replicating when exposed to the human cells.

Managing Cancer

Skorecki said that while he wasn’t surprised that the human environment affected the growth, he was in fact surprised by the magnitude of the effect: “We’ve known for years now that cancers are complex organs, but I didn’t think the power of the human stem cell environment would be so robust, that it would make such a big difference in how the cells were grown.”

The researchers point out that they do not yet know the cues that particularly enhance the cancer’s proliferation, and the team is now working on isolating the factors from human cells that promote such plasticity and self-renewing properties. The scientists explain that this may eventually allow physicians to manage cancer as a chronic disease: instead of one therapy against the entire tumor, researchers may develop a method to tease out the variety of self-renewing cell lines of a particular tumor and determine what allows each to thrive, then attack that mechanism.

This article is reprinted with permission from NoCamels.

A Look at Israel's 'Designer' Strains of Medical Marijuana A Look at Israel's 'Designer' Strains of Medical Marijuana TrendingIsraeli Students Bringing Clean Water to Tanzania Israeli Students Bringing Clean Water to Tanzania TrendingIsraeli Study Says Parents Should Start Teaching Kids How to Write Even Earlier Israeli Study Says Parents Should Start Teaching Kids How to Write Even Earlier Trending
 

During Return to Auschwitz, Israeli Admits He's Part of 'Last Generation' of Holocaust Survivors

January 27, 2015 | By Ahiya Raved
During Return to Auschwitz, Israeli Admits He's Part of 'Last Generation' of Holocaust Survivors

"It is the last time that we will be able to tell our story and pass it on to future generations, because there are not many people left to tell it"

Read More

Steven Spielberg Holds Special Reception for 100 Holocaust Survivors From Around the World

January 27, 2015 | By ShalomLife Team
Steven Spielberg Holds Special Reception for 100 Holocaust Survivors From Around the World

"We need to be preserving places like Auschwitz so people can see for themselves how evil ideologies can become tangible acts of murder"

Read More

Iranian News Agency Reports that Netanyahu’s Sons Are Assasination Targets

January 27, 2015 | By JNS.org
Iranian News Agency Reports that Netanyahu’s Sons Are Assasination Targets

Mashregh printed a photo of Yair and Avner Netanyahu with sniper's scopes superimposed on their faces

Read More

Survey: 84% of Palestinians Think Israel May Be Behind Paris Attacks

January 27, 2015 | By JNS.org
Survey: 84% of Palestinians Think Israel May Be Behind Paris Attacks

6,900 Palestinians were interviewed for the survey

Read More

BBC Asks if It's Time to 'Stop Talking about the Holocaust'

January 27, 2015 | By Daniel Koren
BBC Asks if It's Time to 'Stop Talking about the Holocaust'

The religious discussion show The Big Questions posed a question on their Twitter page as part of International Holocaust Remembrance Day

Read More

BuzzFeed Presents Americans Eating Israeli Snacks [VIDEO]

January 26, 2015 | By Daniel Koren
BuzzFeed Presents Americans Eating Israeli Snacks [VIDEO]

Americans nosh on awesome Israeli-made snacks, from Bamba to Milky

Read More

Tel Aviv Brasserie Named World's Best Designed Restaurant

January 26, 2015 | By Einat Paz-Frankel
Tel Aviv Brasserie Named World's Best Designed Restaurant

The Israeli designers of Pastel Brasserie and Bar have won the 2014 International Space Design Award

Read More

Bob Dylan Gifts 50,000 CD’s to Senior Citizens

January 26, 2015 | By Ashley Baylen
Bob Dylan Gifts 50,000 CD’s to Senior Citizens

The folk rocker is giving away 50,000 free copies of his latest album to readers of AARP The Magazine.

Read More

More Headlines