Authors: Alice Weatherston
In a study published recently in Oncogene and Oncotarget a team of specialist glioma researchers from The University of British Colombia (Canada) have identified a new route for the spread of glioma cells.
During their investigation, the research team demonstrated that glioma cells are able to reprogram neighboring astrocytes with microRNAs capable of turning specific sets of genes on and off.
“This is the first evidence that microRNA can go from glioma cells into astrocytes and reprogram them to provide an altered environment that stimulates tumor growth and invasion,” explained Christian Naus (The University of British Colombia).
On the implications of the research for treatment Wun Chey Sin commented: “We should consider the possibility of creating a treatment that would temporarily modify the healthy astrocytes around the tumor so the cancer cells can’t hijack them.”