The specialists explain that tumor cells can adapt to changing conditions due to their capacity to reactivate the epithelial-mesothelioma transition process (EMT), which allows them to change their molecular properties and acquire new capabilities.
As a result, apart from their original group of cells, migrate through the bloodstream to other parts of the body and metastasize.
However, experts say that these cells show a high degree of plasticity as they enter the EMT trial, property exploited by scientists at the University of Basel, Switzerland, to force the conversion of breast cancer cells into a different type.
In experiments with mice implanted with an aggressive form of human breast cancer, the animals are treated with a combination of two drugs: Rosygitazone, used to treat diabetes mellitus and thrombinib, which inhibits growth and spread of cells.
The results of the study showed that invasive malignant cells were no longer divided into adiposites, and could hardly be differentiated from normal fat cells.
These drugs also suppressed the growth of primary tumors and prevent them from metastasizing to the organism.
According to Gerhard Christophofi, lead author of the study, breast cancer cells underwent differentiation of fat cells and also proliferated completely.
In the long run, the cancer cells transformed into adiposites remain as fat cells and do not return to breast cancer, he added.
According to Cristophilia, in the future, the innovative therapeutic approach may be used in combination with conventional chemotherapy to suppress both the growth of primary tumor and the formation of deadly metastases.