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Breast Cancer - New research

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Breast cancer cells growing in 3D-matrix revert to normal

 Human breast cancer cells growing in the lab on a three-dimensional (3-D) extracellular matrix reverted to a normal phenotype when subjected to compression force applied by an elastic chamber, researchers reported on Dec. 17 at the American Society for Cell Biology Annual Meeting in San Francisco.


Gautham Venugopalan, PhD, of the University of California, Berkeley, bioengineering lab of Daniel Fletcher, PhD, described how applying compressive force to malignant breast epithelial cells growing within a laminin-rich 3-D extracellular matrix caused them to turn into highly organized, growth-arrested acini, the milk-secreting spherical structures that are central to breast tissue.

This "phenotypic reversion" was accomplished without pharmacological agents, noted Dr. Venugopalan. Research collaborators included Kandice Tanner, PhD, and Mina Bissell, PhD, of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in Berkeley.

During a w…