Work by researchers on what they are calling the freeways of connective breast tissue found in breast cancer tumors shows that the manner in which the collagen fibers are arranged could help in determining a woman’s diagnosis and treatment of this deadly disease.
Collagen both surrounds most of the body’s organs and helps to provide structure for the body and informs the body’s cells how to act. If you look at the collagen close up, it looks somewhat like a plate full of cooked spaghetti strands.
During the study, the scientists looked at cells from tumors from 200 women who had invasive breast cancer. The researchers discovered signs that the affected collagen started to behave differently as the tumors progressed.
They found out that cancer cells begin to yank on the affected collagen and makes it straighten out. This in turn forms a track on which the bad cells migrate. As the tracks get more developed, the prognosis for the women got worse, according to the researchers.
Now, the tests have to be validated so they can be used in regular practice. The scientists hope to be able to keep on with the study by doing more analysis in different groups of affected women so they can use the results to help future breast cancer sufferers.