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U.S.: Revolutionizing Cancer Treatment

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Each year, approximately 240,000 instances of breast cancer are identified among women and 2,100 among men in the United States. The toll of this disease is reflected in the fact that each year, around 42,000 women and 500 men succumb to breast cancer in the U.S.

Cancer is characterised by uncontrolled cell growth within the body. Among women in the United States, breast cancer ranks as the most prevalent form of cancer, excluding skin cancer. While there has been a decrease in mortality rates associated with breast cancer over the years, it still maintains its position as the second most common cause of cancer-related deaths among women at large.

It is disconcerting to note that black women experience a higher mortality rate from breast cancer. The gravity of these statistics underscores the pressing need for continued research, awareness, and advancements in healthcare to address the impact of breast cancer across diverse populations.

In light of this, researchers from Penn State have unravelled the mechanics behind the invasion of healthy tissues by breast cancer cells, shedding light on a crucial aspect of cancer metastasis. The U.S. National Science Foundation supports this discovery, unveiling the pivotal role of a motor protein called dynein in propelling the movement of cancer cells within soft tissue models. The findings present potential clinical targets against metastasis and can revolutionise the approach to cancer treatment.

The study signifies a paradigm shift in understanding the mechanics of cancer cell motility. Erdem Tabdanov, a pharmacologist at Penn State and a lead co-corresponding author on the study, emphasised the discovery significance of this innovation, “Until now, dynein has never been caught in the business of providing the mechanical force for cancer cell motility, which is their ability to move. Now we can see that if you target dynein, you could effectively stop motility of those cells and, therefore, stop metastatic dissemination,” he expressed.

During this work, the researchers utilised live microscopy to observe the migration of breast cancer cells in two distinct systems designed to replicate human body conditions. The first system, a 2D network of collagen fibres, revealed the intricate movement of cancer cells through an extracellular matrix surrounding tumours, highlighting the critical role of dynein.

The second system, a 3D model developed by a team led by Amir Sheikhi, a chemical and biomedical engineer at Penn State, aimed to mimic soft tissue using microscopic hydrogel particles or microgels linked together in tumour-like shapes. In both models, the researchers found that dynein was “indispensable” in the spread or metastasis of cancer cells.

Sheikhi emphasised the impact of this discovery on cancer management, stating, “Using these three-dimensional models that partially mimic a tumour, we discovered that if we block dynein, the cancer cells cannot effectively move and infiltrate solid tissues. Instead of killing the cancer cells with radiation or chemotherapy, we are showing how to paralyse them.”

This breakthrough is particularly noteworthy as it introduces a less aggressive approach to cancer treatment, aiming to halt the movement of cancer cells rather than indiscriminately targeting both cancerous and healthy cells. By leveraging digital microscopy and innovative 3D models, the research offers a transformative perspective on cancer management.

The potential clinical implications of this discovery are vast, providing a new avenue for developing targeted therapies against metastasis. In the era of precision medicine, where tailored treatments are gaining prominence, understanding the mechanics of cancer cell motility at a molecular level opens doors to more nuanced and effective interventions.

As the research community embraces digital technologies and advanced modelling techniques, this study stands as a testament to the power of innovation in unravelling the complexities of cancer biology. Integrating digital microscopy into the study of cancer dynamics showcases how technology can drive the future of medical research and treatment.

Further, the implications of this research extend beyond breast cancer, offering a blueprint for exploring similar mechanisms in other types of cancer and paving the way for a more targeted and less invasive approach to cancer therapeutics.

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Qlik’s vision is a data-literate world, where everyone can use data and analytics to improve decision-making and solve their most challenging problems. A private company, Qlik offers real-time data integration and analytics solutions, powered by Qlik Cloud, to close the gaps between data, insights and action. By transforming data into Active Intelligence, businesses can drive better decisions, improve revenue and profitability, and optimize customer relationships. Qlik serves more than 38,000 active customers in over 100 countries.

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As a Titanium Black Partner of Dell Technologies, CTC Global Singapore boasts unparalleled access to resources.

Established in 1972, we bring 52 years of experience to the table, solidifying our position as a leading IT solutions provider in Singapore. With over 300 qualified IT professionals, we are dedicated to delivering integrated solutions that empower your organization in key areas such as Automation & AI, Cyber Security, App Modernization & Data Analytics, Enterprise Cloud Infrastructure, Workplace Modernization and Professional Services.

Renowned for our consulting expertise and delivering expert IT solutions, CTC Global Singapore has become the preferred IT outsourcing partner for businesses across Singapore.

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Planview has one mission: to build the future of connected work. Our solutions enable organizations to connect the business from ideas to impact, empowering companies to accelerate the achievement of what matters most. Planview’s full spectrum of Portfolio Management and Work Management solutions creates an organizational focus on the strategic outcomes that matter and empowers teams to deliver their best work, no matter how they work. The comprehensive Planview platform and enterprise success model enables customers to deliver innovative, competitive products, services, and customer experiences. Headquartered in Austin, Texas, with locations around the world, Planview has more than 1,300 employees supporting 4,500 customers and 2.6 million users worldwide. For more information, visit www.planview.com.

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SIRIM is a premier industrial research and technology organisation in Malaysia, wholly-owned by the Minister​ of Finance Incorporated. With over forty years of experience and expertise, SIRIM is mandated as the machinery for research and technology development, and the national champion of quality. SIRIM has always played a major role in the development of the country’s private sector. By tapping into our expertise and knowledge base, we focus on developing new technologies and improvements in the manufacturing, technology and services sectors. We nurture Small Medium Enterprises (SME) growth with solutions for technology penetration and upgrading, making it an ideal technology partner for SMEs.

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HashiCorp provides infrastructure automation software for multi-cloud environments, enabling enterprises to unlock a common cloud operating model to provision, secure, connect, and run any application on any infrastructure. HashiCorp tools allow organizations to deliver applications faster by helping enterprises transition from manual processes and ITIL practices to self-service automation and DevOps practices. 

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IBM is a leading global hybrid cloud and AI, and consulting services provider, helping clients in more than 175 countries capitalize on insights from their data, streamline business processes, reduce costs and gain the competitive edge in their industries. Nearly 3,800 government and corporate entities in critical infrastructure areas such as financial services, telecommunications and healthcare rely on IBM’s hybrid cloud platform and Red Hat OpenShift to affect their digital transformations quickly, efficiently, and securely. IBM’s breakthrough innovations in AI, quantum computing, industry-specific cloud solutions and business services deliver open and flexible options to our clients. All of this is backed by IBM’s legendary commitment to trust, transparency, responsibility, inclusivity, and service. For more information, visit www.ibm.com