Behind the scenes and away from the spotlight, scientists and physicians devote countless hours to the search for clues about cancer cells and how they live and die. Their amazing discoveries give doctors key information to both diagnose and treat their patients successfully.
Here are 2 new ongoing investigations in the area of cancer research:
Multiple disciplines examine cancer one cell at a time.
A team of researchers composed of geneticists, epigeneticists, and biophysicists are working together on the 2nd PIC 3i program, creating methods to delve more deeply into the molecules in cancer cells. Their collaboration will lead to innovative microscopes and other tools to watch molecules react and interact in real time.
They will then observe and monitor the molecules and DNA in individual cells to more fully understand genome expression and how it makes cancer cells behave. They hope to exploit the weaknesses they find on a molecular level to attack invasive and aggressive cancers more swiftly.
Unlocking secrets of cancer-associated fibroblasts.
Fibroblasts are usually good guys in the body. They hang out and don’t cause much trouble, rushing in to help patch up a wound if needed. Then, they go back to lounging around.
Cancer-associated fibroblasts(CAFs) are more like zombie cells. They get wooed and courted by the cancer cells to come join them and help them in their cause. The CAFs then have the ability to alter their environment to favor more cancer growth. They also leave tumours and spread cancer cells to other areas of the body.
An interdisciplinary team of researchers, also working with PIC 3i, have made great strides in understanding more about CAFs and their role in forming tumours and facilitating cancer growth. The team has already discovered specific types of CAFs that correspond to various cancers, and hope to discover just how fibroblasts use their unique properties to aid cancer cells.
When great minds from many scientific disciplines work together, new strategies to defeat cancer are being developed and tested to help patients win against this deadly disease.