Inverstigation of Breast Cancer Metastasis Mechanics Unveils New Target

December 05, 2023

Led by Penn State, recent research unveils the previously unknown mechanics behind breast cancer cell invasion into healthy tissues, a critical aspect of metastasis. Supported by the U.S. National Science Foundation, the study identifies dynein, a motor protein, as the force driving cancer cells' movement in soft tissue models. 

This groundbreaking discovery introduces new clinical targets against metastasis, potentially reshaping cancer treatment strategies. Erdem Tabdanov, a lead co-corresponding author and Penn State pharmacologist, emphasizes the paradigm shift, highlighting dynein's role in providing the mechanical force for cancer cell motility. Targeting dynein emerges as a potential strategy to halt cancer cell motility and, consequently, prevent metastatic dissemination.

Live microscopy observations in 2D and 3D systems, mimicking the human body, affirm dynein's indispensability in cancer cell migration, emphasizing its potential significance in combating metastasis.