Groundbreaking Research Demonstrates New Mode of Carcinogenesis Hope for Far Less Toxic Treatment

An immunofluorescent image displaying two distinct subclonal populations of cells (red and green) that may cooperate in this chimeric tumor.
This immunofluorescent image shows two distinct subclonal populations of cells (red and green) that may cooperate in this chimeric tumor. (Image reprinted with permission from Allison Cleary and Edward Gunther.)

Penn State Cancer Institute has established a novel mode of breast carcinogenesis by discovering how communication between genetically distinct subclones contributes to tumor growth in Wnt-driven mammary cancers, a widely used murine breast cancer model.1 Although subsequent studies also have described cooperative interactions between certain tumor cell subpopulations, suggesting subclonal cooperation may be a common mechanism for the maintenance of tumor cell heterogeneity, this study, published in Nature, was the first to recognize the possible relationship. “As cancer biologists and clinicians have long known, cancers evolve,” says Edward J. Gunther, MD, professor of medicine, Penn State Cancer Institute. “But this idea that there are multiple subclones evolving in concert is new. Eventually, this broadened understanding will lead to a further evolution of cancer treatment strategies.” Continue reading “Groundbreaking Research Demonstrates New Mode of Carcinogenesis Hope for Far Less Toxic Treatment”