Dynamic Cellular Defense Against the Invasion of Breast Cancer Found by Scientists


A team of researchers at Johns Hopkins report that they have experimented over the mouse tissue growth in the laboratory. Through this, they demonstrated that the cell layer that surrounds the breast milk ducts grabs on to the cancer cells and keeps them from growing or spreading throughout the body. The findings by the series of experiments reveal that the given cell layer referred to as “myoepithelium” does not serve to be a stationary barrier to the breast cancer invasion as perceived by the scientists previously. On the other hand, it serves to be an active defense mechanism against the breast cancer metastasis.

The results of the experiments performed by the team of scientists got published in the Journal of Cell Biology. Andrew Ewald –the Professor of Cell Biology at the Johns Hopkins University stated that the understanding how the cancer cells are contained would help in the development of ways towards predicting the individualized risks of developing metastasis in an individual.

Most of the breast tumors start developing in the cells that are known for lining the interior of the breast milk ducts. In turn, the interior cells are surrounded by the myoepithelial cells –the cells responsible for working together towards contracting and moving milk through the breast milk ducts when the baby is nursing.

Through the experiment, the researchers surprisingly found that when the invasive Twist1 cells got broken through the layer of the myoepithelial cells, these cells grabbed the stray cancer cells and pulled them back successfully within the lining of the breast milk ducts. This happened around 92 percent of the time across as many as 114 observations.

In the future times, the researchers aim at studying the cellular mechanisms that would prompt the myoepithelial layer to react dynamically towards offering protection against the breast cancer invasion.