Monday July 22, 2019

Exposure to Dim Light Escalates Breast Cancer’s Spread to Bones

X-ray images showed that mice exposed to a light or dim light cycle had much larger tumours and increased bone damage compared with mice kept in a standard light/dark cycle

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Cancer
Cancer Ribbon. Pixabay

Exposure to dim light at night may contribute to spreading of breast cancer to bones, researchers have shown in an animal study.

When breast cancer spreads it often affects bones, cause severe pain and make them fragile. “To date no one has reported that exposure to dim light at night induces circadian disruption, which increases spread of bone metastatic breast cancer,” said Muralidharan Anbalagan, Assistant Professor, at Tulane University in New Orleans.

The findings were presented at ENDO 2019, the Endocrine Society’s annual meeting in New Orleans.

For the preliminary study, the team created a mouse model of bone metastatic breast cancer. They injected oestrogen receptor-positive human breast cancer cells, which have a low propensity to grow in bones, into the tibia (shinbone) of female mice.

Cancer patient
Cancer patient.

Like humans, mice produced a strong night-time circadian melatonin signal, shown to produce strong anti-cancer actions and for promoting sleep.

While one group of mice was kept in the light for 12 hours each day, the other group of three mice in the dark for 12 hours. Another group spent 12 hours in light, followed by 12 hours in dim light at night.

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X-ray images showed that mice exposed to a light or dim light cycle had much larger tumours and increased bone damage compared with mice kept in a standard light/dark cycle, he noted.

“Our research identified the importance of an intact nocturnal circadian melatonin anti-cancer signal in suppressing bone-metastatic breast tumour growth,” Anbalagan said. (IANS)

Next Story

New Reusable Device Which can Help Women with Breast Cancer in Lower-Income Countries

Innovation in cancer care doesn't always mean that you have to create an entirely new treatment

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Breast Cancer, Device, Women
According to the study published in the journal PLOS One, the research team wanted to create a tissue-freezing tool that uses carbon dioxide. Pixabay

Researchers have developed a new reusable device which can help women with breast cancer in lower-income countries by using carbon dioxide, a widely available and affordable gas, to power a cancer tissue-freezing probe instead of industry-standard argon.

According to the study published in the journal PLOS One, the research team wanted to create a tissue-freezing tool that uses carbon dioxide, which is already widely available in most rural areas thanks to the popularity of carbonated drinks.

“Innovation in cancer care doesn’t always mean that you have to create an entirely new treatment. Sometimes it means radically innovating on proven therapies such that they’re redesigned to be accessible to the majority of the world’s population,” said the study’s first author Bailey Surtees from the Johns Hopkins University.

For the study, the research team tested their tool in three experiments to ensure it could remain cold enough in conditions similar to the human breast and successfully kill tumour tissues.

Breast Cancer, Device, Women
Researchers have developed a new reusable device which can help women with breast cancer in lower-income countries by using carbon dioxide. Pixabay

In the first experiment, the team used the tool on jars of ultrasound gel, which thermodynamically mimics human breast tissue, to determine whether it could successfully reach standard freezing temperatures killing tissues and form consistent iceballs.

In all the trials, the device formed large enough iceballs and reached temperatures below -40 degrees Celsius, which meets standard freezing temperatures for tissue death for similar devices in the United States.

For the second experiment, the team treated 9 rats with 10 mammary tumours. Afterwards, they looked at the tissues under a microscope and confirmed that the tool successfully killed 85 per cent or more tissues for all tumours.

Finally, the team tested the tool’s ability to reach temperatures cold enough for tissue destruction in the normal liver of a pig, which has a temperature similar to a human breast.

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The device was successfully able to stay cold enough during the entire experiment to kill the target tissue. (IANS)