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3D models give new perspective on cancer


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3D models give new perspective on cancer

 

Date: 28/08/2015

Computer models of developing cancers reveal how tiny movements of cells can quickly transform the makeup of a tumour.

Researchers used mathematical algorithms to create three-dimensional simulations of cancers developing over time.

They studied how tumours begin with one rogue cell which multiplies to become a malignant mass containing many billions of cells.

Their models took into account changes that occur in cancerous cells as they move within the landscape of a tumour, and as they replicate or die.

They also considered genetic variation, which makes some cells more suited to the environment of a tumour than others.

They found that movement and turnover of cells in a tumour allows those that are well suited to the environment to flourish.

Any one of these can take over an existing tumour, replacing the original mass with new cells quickly - often within several months.

This helps explain why tumours are comprised mostly of one type of cell, whereas healthy tissue tends to be made up of a mixture of cell types.

However, this mechanism does not entirely mix the cells inside the tumour, the team says.

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Source: Roslin Biocentre

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