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  • Posted: 02/04/2013
NCI Cancer Center News

MD Anderson study finds blood vessel cells coax colorectal cancer cells into more dangerous state

Blood vessels that supply oxygen and nutrients to tumors can also deliver something else -- a signal that strengthens nearby cancer cells, making them more resistant to chemotherapy, more likely to spread to other organs and more lethal, scientists at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center report online in Cancer Cell. Working in human colorectal cancer cell lines and tumor samples, as well as mouse models, the researchers found that endothelial cells, which line the inside of blood vessels, can trigger changes in cancer cells without even coming into direct contact with them.

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NCI comprehensive cancer centers logoAmong the research institutions NCI funds across the United States, it currently designates 67 as Cancer Centers. Largely based in research universities, these facilities are home to many of the NCI-supported scientists who conduct a wide range of intense, laboratory research into cancer’s origins and development. The Cancer Centers Program also focuses on trans-disciplinary research, including population science and clinical research. The centers’ research results are often at the forefront of studies in the cancer field.