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Recent news from The Johns Hopkins University

This section contains regularly updated highlights of the news from around The Johns Hopkins University. Links to the complete news reports from the nine schools, the Applied Physics Laboratory and other centers and institutes are to the left, as are links to help news media contact the Johns Hopkins communications offices.

 

Viewing Cancer on the Move: New Device Yields Close-up Look at Metastasis

Johns Hopkins engineers have invented a lab device to give cancer researchers an unprecedented microscopic look at metastasis, the complex way that tumor cells spread through the body, causing more than 90 percent of cancer-related deaths. By shedding light on precisely how tumor cells travel, the device could uncover new ways to keep cancer in check.

Water-Based ‘Engine’ Propels Tumor Cells Through Tight Spaces in the Body

Johns Hopkins researchers have discovered a new mechanism that explains how cancer cells spread through extremely narrow three-dimensional spaces in the body by using a propulsion system based on water and charged particles. The finding, reported in the April 24 issue of the journal Cell, uncovers a novel way that the deadly cells use to migrate through a cancer patient’s body. The discovery may lead to new treatments that help keep the disease in check.

Cancer Cells Don’t Engage in ‘Drunken’ Walks as They Spread Through the Body in 3D

Because of results seen in flat lab dishes, biologists have believed that cancers cells move through the body in a slow, aimless fashion, resembling an intoxicated person who cannot walk three steps in a straight line. This pattern, called a random walk, may hold true for cells traveling across two-dimensional lab containers, but Johns Hopkins researchers have discovered that for cells moving through three-dimensional spaces within the body, the “drunken” model doesn’t hold true.

Studying Cells in 3-D Could Reveal New Cancer Targets

Showing movies in 3-D has produced a box-office bonanza in recent months. Could viewing cell behavior in three dimensions lead to important advances in cancer research? A new study led by Johns Hopkins University engineers indicates it may happen. Looking at cells in 3-D, the team members concluded, yields more accurate information that could help develop drugs to prevent cancer’s spread.

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