Is the spread of breast cancer relies on collagen?


Is the spread of breast cancer relies on collagen?


According to a recent study from the Garvan Institute of Medical Research, collagen type XII is essential for controlling how the tumor matrix is organised. High amounts of collagen XII can cause breast cancer cells to metastasize, or move from the primary tumor to different parts of the body, according to research conducted by a team of scientists led by Associate Professor Thomas Cox.

The extracellular matrix's contribution to the spread of cancer is still not entirely understood. Collagen XII "plays a vital role in the growth and spread of breast cancer," claims senior author Associate Professor Thomas Cox.

Imagine that cancerous cells are the seeds and the tumor micro environment in the soil. We may start to grasp what makes some tumors more aggressive than others by researching the extracellular matrix, and consequently, we can start to develop new cancer treatments, he claims.

According to the research, it may be possible to utilize assessing the amount of collagen XII in a patient's tumor sample as an additional screening tool to find aggressive metastatic breast tumors, such as triple-negative tumors, are more likely to develop. Future treatments might also think about focusing on collagen XII.

Collagen XII modifies the tumor environment to encourage the invasion of cancer cells.

A 3 D meshwork made up of 300–400 core molecules, including numerous collagen proteins, makes up the extracellular matrix, or "matrix." Cells and tissues in all bodily parts receive structural and functional support from this matrix.

In this study, a comprehensive database of the evolution of the tumor matrix was assembled and made freely available to other researchers.

The researchers concentrated on collagen XII, one of the body's 28 kinds of collagen. Collagen XII organizes other collagen and can significantly alter the three-dimensional (3 D) structure of the extracellular matrix.

The tumors in mouse models were studied from the earliest clinical stages of cancer through late-stage malignancies. They discovered that several matrix components changed as the tumors grew, and crucially, the amount of collagen XII also rose.

The first author, Michael Papanicolaou from Garvan, claims that Collagen XII appears to be altering the tumor’s characteristics and making it more aggressive. It alters the way collagen are organised to make it easier for cancer cells to get out of the tumor and go to other places, such as the lungs.

The team then altered collagen XII production via genetic engineering and examined the outcomes of metastasis to different organs. They noticed that as collagen XII levels rose, metastasis also did. These findings were later replicated in human cancer tissues, which demonstrated that high levels of collagen XII are linked to worse overall survival rates and greater metastasis.

Future studies will examine other human samples and potential therapeutic avenues.

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