According to new research, a little squeeze may be all that is needed to prevent malignant breast cells from triggering cancer.
Experiments have shown that applying physical pressure guides cells back to a normal growth pattern. The leading member of the research team at the University of California in Berkeley, Gautham Venugopalan has stated:
“People have known for centuries that physical force can influence our bodies. When we lift weights our muscles get bigger. The force of gravity is essential to keeping our bones strong. Here we show that physical force can play a role in the growth – and reversion – of cancer cells.”
The study itself involved growing malignant breast epithelials within a gel that was then injected into flexible silicone chambers. Scientists then applied compression during the first stages of cell growth, and over time the compressed cells began to grow in a far more normal, organized fashion.
Once the tissue structure was formed the cells stopped growing entirely, even if the compressive force was stopped. Cells that remains un-squeezed continued to grow in the haphazard and uncontrolled way that typically leads to cancer. It appears that malignant cells can be re-trained back into healthy growth patterns. While scientists aren’t envisioning a line of cancer fighting compression bras, they believe the research will provide clues that can lead to new treatments.
The results have since been presented at the annual meeting of the American Society for Cell Biology in San Francisco, California.
What do you think about the new findings?