How Cancer Recharges Its Batteries
New research uncovers how the blood cancer ‘steals’ parts of surrounding healthy bone marrow cells to thrive, in work that could help form new approaches to cancer treatment in the future.
Researchers at the University of East Anglia, funded by the Rosetrees Trust and The Big C Charity, found that healthy bone marrow stromal cells were made to transfer their power-generating mitochondria to neighbouring cancer cells, effectively ‘recharging’ the acute myeloid leukaemia (AML) and supporting the leukaemia to grow.
AML has been found to act in a parasitic way by first generating oxygen-deprived conditions in the bone marrow which then stimulates the transfer of healthy mitochondria from the non-cancerous cells to the leukaemia cells.
The study, published on the cover of the journal Blood today also identified how and why the mitochondria are transferred and discusses the potential impact this could have on future treatment and study of cancer.
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SOURCE: Drug, Discovery & Development Magazine