In addition to mutations, environmental conditions created by the tissues surrounding tumors (stroma) play a major role in cancer progression. Researchers led by Gregg Semenza at Johns Hopkins University examined the interactions between breast cancer cells and the stroma to identify underlying pro-metastatic molecular mechanisms.
They found that both breast cancer cells and the stroma secrete proteins that influence the behavior of each cell type.
Additionally, Semenza and colleagues found that a group of proteins known as HIFs were required for stroma-driven metastases, suggesting that drugs which inhibit this class of proteins may be useful in preventing breast cancer metastasis.
TITLE: Hypoxia-inducible factor-dependent breast cancer-mesenchymal stem cell bidirectional signaling promotes metastasis