Source: Pixabay/Kapa65

News • Animal testing

Can mice really mirror humans when it comes to cancer?

A new Michigan State University study is helping to answer a pressing question among scientists of just how close mice are to people when it comes to researching cancer.

The findings, now published in PLOS Genetics, reveal how mice can actually mimic human breast cancer tissue and its genes, even more so than previously thought, as well as other cancers including lung, oral and esophagus. According to the Centers for Disease Control, cancer is the second leading cause of death among Americans next to heart disease. “Just like human breast cancer, there are many subtypes that can be found in mice,” said Eran Andrechek, co-author and physiology professor whose work focuses on the genetic makeup of cancer. “Our work outlines the genetic similarities of the tissue and cells in different types of tumors and shows the strong relationships mice can have to other human cancers too.”

Our work will help scientists understand in part what makes the various tumors so unique and such a challenge to treat

Eran Andrechek

Different tumor subtypes can include glandular, which include the mammary glands, as well as squamous, which are very rare and involve epithelial cells that line the inside of the breast. Andrechek’s federally funded study looked at mice containing all subtypes and compared the makeup of the rodent tumors and the way the genes acted, known as gene expression, to human tumor data. He found that not only did the genes act the same in certain breast cancers, but the gene similarities were active in other cancers as well. “Groups of genes were also being expressed similarly in the lung, oral and esophageal tumors,” Andrechek said. “For example, mouse mammary tumors shared a signaling pathway that is found in human lung cancer and controls how cells reproduce and move from one location to another.”

Because tumors have distinct genes, the way they act or send signals can help scientists identify and define the specific kind of cancer they’re dealing with in hopes of finding the right treatment. “Our work will help scientists understand in part what makes the various tumors so unique and such a challenge to treat,” Andrechek said. “But even more importantly, for patients, our ability to identify the similarities could allow treatments for other cancers like lung to be used for certain breast cancers down the road.”


Source: Michigan State University

20.01.2018

Read all latest stories

Related articles

Photo

News • Tumor location as important growth factor

New molecular microscopy uncovers breast cancer spread

Researchers have created a tool that maps how breast cancer grows in previously unseen detail, and highlights how the cells around the tumour may be the key to controlling the spread of disease.

Photo

News • Possible biological explanation found

Why are dense breasts associated with increased cancer risk?

The risk of developing breast cancer is higher in breasts with high density. But why is that? Researchers at Linköping University have shown major biological differences that promote cancer growth.

Photo

News • Filopodia research

'Sticky fingers' in cells keep breast cancer contained

Researchers in Finland have identified that finger-like cellular extensions called filopodia contribute to building a barrier surrounding breast tumours.

Related products

AB-CT – Advanced Breast-CT – nu:view

Mammo CT

AB-CT – Advanced Breast-CT – nu:view

AB-CT – Advanced Breast-CT GmbH
CliniSys – Genetics Laboratory

LIS / Middleware / POCT

CliniSys – Genetics Laboratory

CliniSys Deutschland GmbH
Fujifilm – Amulet Bellus II

Mammo Workstations

Fujifilm – Amulet Bellus II

FUJIFILM Europe GmbH
Fujifilm – AMULET Innovality

Tomosynthesis

Fujifilm – AMULET Innovality

FUJIFILM Europe GmbH
Fujifilm – AMULET Innovality Harmony

Tomosynthesis

Fujifilm – AMULET Innovality Harmony

FUJIFILM Europe GmbH
Subscribe to Newsletter