redOrbit (Oct. 09, 2012)
Researchers from Georgia Tech recently found that ovarian cancer cells that are highly metastatic are much softer than ovarian cancer cells that are less metastatic.
The findings on cell stiffness in relation to cancer cells were recently published in the academic journal PLoS ONE.”In order to spread, metastatic cells must push themselves into the bloodstream. As a result, they must be highly deformable and softer,” explained Todd Sulchek, an assistant professor at the George W. Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering, in a prepared statement. “Our results indicate that cell stiffness may be a useful biomarker to evaluate the relative metastatic potential of ovarian and perhaps other types of cancer cells.””This is a good example of the kinds of discoveries that only come about by integrating skills and knowledge from traditionally diverse fields such as molecular biology and bioengineering,” remarked John McDonald, the director of Georgia Tech’s Integrated Cancer Research Center whose lab worked with Sulchek’s lab in the study, in the statement. “Although there are a number of developing methodologies to identify circulating cancer cells in the blood and other body fluids, this technology offers the added potential to rapidly determine if these cells are highly metastatic or relatively benign.” (full story..) (link to paper)