Breast cancer cells collaborate to break free and invade into the surrounding tissue

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NIBIB in the News
November 13, 2023

Researchers at Stanford show that breast cancer cells work together to physically tear through barriers and spread.

The majority of breast cancers start in the lining of a breast milk duct and, if they remain there, are very treatable. But once these cancers become invasive – breaking through a thin matrix around the duct, called the basement membrane, and spreading to the surrounding tissue – treatment becomes more challenging.

In a recent paper, published on Nov. 13 in Nature Materials, researchers at Stanford revealed a novel physical mechanism that breast cancer cells use to break out and become invasive. They found that, in addition to established chemical methods of degrading the basement membrane, cancer cells work as a group to physically deform and tear through the basement membrane barrier. Source: Stanford News