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Versatility of zebrafish research highlighted at international conference
Date:6/21/2012

parency of the young zebrafish to image the cancer process as it unfolds within a whole, living embryo.

"We can visualize the birth of a cancer," Dr.Ignatius says. "How a tumor forms, how tumor cells migrate, and the functional consequences of differentiation within individual cancer cells."

What they saw surprised them. Instead of the expected green stem cells leaving the existing tumor and establishing a new tumor, they saw highly migratory red mid-differentiated cells enter the blood vessels and move to a new site in the body. Over several days, it appeared that the green stem cells then slowly migrated toward the red ones to multiply and form a new tumor. Terminally differentiated blue tumor cells were largely stationary and did not contribute to local metastasis.

"Our data support a model where the first cell type to migrate into new areas of tumor growth is not a cancer stem cell, but is paradoxically a mid-differentiated ERMS cell, which has no intrinsic ability to proliferate and remake a tumor. Only after this cell primes the newly colonized area do slow-moving stem cells become recruited and drive continued tumor growth," says Dr. Langenau.

Their results suggest that efforts to control metastatic potential may need to target multiple cell populations within a tumor. Dr. Ignatius suggests, "New therapies should target both the cancer stem cell pool as well as highly migratory cell types that facilitate tumor spread. We believe our zebrafish model of disease will be useful in identifying novel drug targets for both of these processes."

Genetic Factors in Nicotine Dependence and Treatment Success

Nicotine dependence is one of the largest causes of preventable death and is associated with very high health care costs. The few approved treatment options currently available for people looking to kick their habit, primarily varenicline and buproprion, the generic names of two brand-name prescription d
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Contact: Phyllis Edelman
pedelman@genetics-gsa.org
301-351-0896
Genetics Society of America
Source:Eurekalert

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