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in Cancer - 15 Dec, 2015
Brain tumors develop into Streams, Swirls, and Spheres

The image generally associated with cancer is a tumor that grows anarchically, without any established order, and that expands without rhyme or reason for all the bodies to which it has access. But actually it is not true. At least in the case of glioma, type of brain cancer in which tumor cells are arranged to form streams of 10 to 20 cells thick and even fields. This is shown by a study conducted by researchers at the University of Michigan and at the University of Arizona presented at the annual meeting of the American Society for Cell Biology (ASCB) being held in San Diego.

The tumor can be arranged in swirls around a central axis on which stem glioma cells, thus protecting the immune system are arranged. And from these stem cells from which the tumor grows itself. The results show indisputable signs of self-organization of brain tumors, where there is no place for random structures.

In order to observe the structure of gliomas, the researchers analyzed two models: one biological, in which mice were used with human tumor cells and mathematician model.

In the animal (biological) model, the researchers observed the movement and distribution of tumor cells organized in threads or “streams”, forming an ellipse around a central axis where cancer stem cells are found. And in this context, it is possible to predict the distribution and movement to follow the tumor with mathematical model.

The study also gives a possibility to observe how some organized glioma cells form spheres, some of which left the main tumor mass to enter the cerebrospinal fluid surrounding the brain ventricles. The authors conclude that spheres could mediate tumor spread throughout the brain.