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article imageRead about the latest research on cancer tumors

By Tim Sandle     Jan 10, 2016 in Science
New York - Scientists from the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry have shared the latest research on tumor growth and how the body reacts. The data is drawn from studies on frogs.
Scientists based at the University of Rochester School are using frogs as an animal model to study human diseases. The frogs are South African clawed frogs (Xenopus laevis). While the frogs do not, obviously, outwardly resemble humans; at the genetic level there are sufficient similarities to enable reliable study into cancer. The research group has access to the largest collection of the frogs in any laboratory in the world.
Many of the frogs have undergone genetic modification in order to make them suitable for immune system study. One current line of research is a study of how tumors grow and how the animal body reacts. This is because the environment inside tumors remains an area of the body. One way of exploring this is using tadpoles. The transparent skin of tadpoles allows scientists to make accurate recordings and to take high quality images of tumors as they grow and develop.
The South African clawed frog is particularly suited to research into how tumors grow and how the body reacts, at the molecular level. The species is found throughout much of Sub-Saharan Africa (Nigeria and Sudan to South Africa.)
Lead researcher Dr. Jacques Robert emphasizes this in a research briefing: “We still have a lack of understanding of the environment inside tumors. A tumor is not just tumor cells, there are a lot of normal cells from the invaded organ and immune cells that infiltrate the tumor – and all of this changes as the tumor grows. We need to analyze this in real time."
To examine the development of tumors in more detail, Dr. Robert transplanted tumor cells into tadpoles. In matter of weeks, these became semi-solid tumors that spread throughout the tadpole. In people, growth of tumors requires cellular reorganization. Dr. Robert hopes his new model will provide an insight as to how these cell-based supports alter and what contribution they make to tumor growth and spread. He is also interested in finding out how tumors grow blood vessels, because these conduits aid tumor grow by delivering key nutrients.
The research is published in the journal Developmental Biology. The paper is titled "Semi-solid tumor model in Xenopus laevis/gilli cloned tadpoles for intravital study of neovascularization, immune cells and melanophore infiltration."
More about Cancer, Cancer research, Tumors, Frogs
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