Physically confining malignant cells prevents runaway growth
SAN FRANCISCO — Putting the squeeze on lab-grown tumor cells makes them behave like healthy ones, a new study shows. The discovery won’t lead to treatments that poke and prod tumors in patients, but it might help researchers develop new drugs that keep mutated cells from growing out of control.
Breast cancer cells suspended in gel and then briefly compressed form orderly balls, just like normal breast cells do when squeezed, Gautham Venugopalan, an engineer and cell biologist at the University of California, Berkeley, reported December 17 at the annual meeting of the American Society for Cell Biology. “We’re not adding any dr