Biomedical engineers at Duke University have demonstrated that metastatic cancer cells can reprogram their metabolism to thrive in new organs, the university announced.
Specifically, the research shows that cells originating from colorectal cancer change their dietary habits to capitalize on the high levels of fructose often found in the liver, according to a university article.
The finding offers both general and specific insights into new ways of fighting metastatic cancer. It appears April 26 in the journal Cell Metabolism.
Cancer becomes much more deadly once it spreads to different parts of the body, yet treatments don't take their location into account, according to the article.
"Genetically speaking, colon cancer is colon cancer no matter where it goes," explained Xiling Shen, associate professor of biomedical engineering at Duke. "But that doesn't mean that it can't respond to a new environment. We had a hunch that such a response might not be genetic, but metabolic in nature."
Ga Tech, Emory researcher Michael Davis researches stem cell
therapies and 3d printing related to pediatric cardiology
Michael Davis, director of the Children's Heart Research and Outcomes Center (HeRO) under the Georgia Tech and Emory University's Department of Biomedical Engineering is using stem cell research, predictive medicine models and 3D printing to treat pediatric cardiology issues.
According to a Georgia Tech article, a few years ago, Davis noticed that during bypass surgery, small amounts of tissue were being removed to run the bypass tubing into the heart, and surgeons were throwing it away after removal.
Davis, a BMES member, asked and was granted permission to use the tissue in his research lab for stem cell studies, according to the article. Davis began extracting and quantifying the stem cells, eventually finding that the young cells had more reparative qualities, and when injected into damaged tissue, released healing proteins.
Doctor of science for Dr. Cato Laurencin
At Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai's medical school commencement Surgeon-Scientist Dr. Cato T. Laurencin was bestowed an honorary Doctor of Science degree.
The honorary degree's citation proclaims, "Doctor Cato T. Laurencin, for your revolutionary impact on the fields of biomaterials, stem cell science, nanotechnology, drug delivery systems, and regenerative engineering, for advancing our ability to treat diseases and heal injuries, and for inspiring important lines of inquiry now and in the future, it is a privilege to confer upon you the degree of Doctor of Science, Honoris Causa."
Laurencin is a BMES fellow.
Liquid assembly line to produce drug microparticles
University of Pennsylvania engineers developed a microfluidic system in which more than ten thousand of these devices run in parallel, all on a silicon-and-glass chip that can fit into a shirt pocket, to produce a paradigm shift in microparticle manufacturing, according to a Penn Bioengineering post.
The team, led by David Issadore, Assistant Professor in the Department of Bioengineering, outlined the design of their system in the journal Nature Communications. Issadore is a BMES member.
Metastasis enablers: Findings could unlock new ovarian cancer treatments
Research from the lab of Pamela Kreeger, an associate professor of biomedical engineering at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, has identified one way ovarian cancer cells appear to successfully spread.
The work, detailed in a paper published May 8, 2018, in Cancer Research, could lead to new therapies to curb metastasis of these tumors. Kreeger is a BMES member.
"Like most cancers, it's not the primary tumor that's usually the problem. It's the spread of the tumor to nearby organs that leads to serious complications," Kreeger said in a university article. "So if you can slow that process down, it's possible the patient will live longer and/or have a better quality of life."
U of Texas professor Jiang to develop new platform for cancer immune therapy
Jenny Jiang, assistant professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering at the University of Texas, Austin, has received a new grant to develop an integrated platform that will identify T cell receptors to treat cancer.
The grant is from the National Cancer Institute (NCI), a part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Jiang is a BMES member.
T cell receptor-based adoptive cell transfer therapy involves isolating cancer antigen specific T cell receptors, engineering them into patient derived T cells, and reinfusing these T cells back into patients to treat disease, according to a university article.
While recent successes have generated excitement in the research community, the lack of an efficient tool for isolating therapeutic T cell receptors has limited this approach.
Jiang's team will develop an integrated technology to speed up the process of therapeutic T cell receptor identification and validation. The research aims to establish a foundation for a paradigm shift in future cancer immune therapy, as well as make T cell receptor-based adoptive cell transfer therapy applicable to more kinds of cancers and more patients.