A team of researchers from the Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB) has identified for the first time the various states of cellular transitions occurring during the progression of cancer, but also the subpopulations of tumor cells responsible for metastasis in two cancers. In this case, skin cancer (squamous cell carcinoma) and two breast cancers, reported several media on Thursday.
The research, led by Professor Cédric Blanpain, was published Wednesday in the prestigious journal Nature and is a promising step forward in the fight against cancer.
By studying the role of several cancer cell populations at different stages of the cancer, the researchers observed six subcategories of malignant cells. These cells play a major role in the development of cancer and its metastases, and will also be at the origin of new strategies to block the progression of the tumor and its metastases.
The ULB scientists, in partnership with the KUL and the Erasmus Hospital, have been able to observe these specificities of “cell family” and the different roles of each cell of a cancerous tumor through cell sorting, which isolates cell families and sequence unique cells.