A study by researchers, in the UK and Canada, has revealed a new technique, using tumour organoids, to understand how cells communicate with each other within cancers.
The tumour organoids are made up of human cancer cells alongside other cells types such as immune cells and connecting tissue.
The new technique brakes up the organoids into individual cells, allowing the researchers to simultaneously follow many key cancer signalling molecules in over 1 million cells within replicas of patients’ tumours.
The study by researchers from University College London, The Francis Crick Institute, London, and the University of Toronto and published in Nature Methods, yielded the discovery that cancer cells ‘rewired’ the signalling molecules so that the tumours could grow unchecked.
Understanding the complex communication (signalling) between cancer cells, and other types of cell that make up a tumour, could reveal how cancer comes back after treatment and spreads around the body.