An Unknown Aspect of Tumour Microenvironment
Last Week in Medicine
Cells divide by mitosis and meiosis in order to reproduce. This reproduction process is controlled by many controllers. Disorders in this regulatory system cause cells to divide more than normal. If this cannot be prevented, these cells are called cancer cells.
Disturbances in the division process can also be caused by factors outside the cell itself. For example, skin cancers are associated with UV radiation from the sun.
Cancer cells that divide too much will need more nutrients than other healthy cells. Therefore, they create a small environment for themselves, for example with more blood vessels. This environment is called the tumour microenvironment.
It has recently been shown that the tumour microenvironment contains microorganisms such as bacteria, viruses and fungi, in addition to human structures. These structures were thought to have an effect on tumour development and, moreover, to be the reason why some tumours do not respond to treatment during the treatment process. A new study published in the journal Cell Reports showed that the chemotherapy agent 5-fluorouracil, which is frequently used in daily oncology practice, is less effective in colorectal cancer patients with Fusobacterium nucleatum present in the tumour microenvironment.
Researchers say that tumour microenvironments with bacteria are more immunosuppressed than those without, meaning that these types of cancer cells are more prone to metastasis. In these areas, the Ki67 protein and other indicators of cell proliferation were diminished. They also found that anticancer T cells were less abundant in these microenvironments.
These findings of the researchers show that tumour cells as well as their microenvironment are part of the treatment. These studies will also enable us to make progress in personalised therapies.