• Cancer

    In the Loop: Researchers watch cancer cells ‘explode in real time’

closeup of a researcher wearing protective glasses while looking into a microscope in a labWhile terms like "fight" and "war" come up often in discussions about defeating cancer, we tend to feature the softer side of the struggle. The human side. The everything-we-can-do-for-the-patient side. So when we heard about a new weapon researchers at Mayo Clinic's Florida campus were given in their ongoing fight against cancer, we enjoyed the apparent hyperbole. But then we learned about researchers watching cancer cells "explode in real time" and stood at attention.

As the Florida Times-Union and Action News Jax report, a new Q-Phase holographic microscope made by Czech Republic company TESCAN is giving researchers at the University of North Florida and Mayo Clinic a never-before-seen look at the behaviors and migratory patterns of cancer cells, thanks to its ability to image living cells for up to five days. Mayo Clinic postdoctoral research fellow Maarten Rotman, Ph.D., tells us that's been a "game changer," especially as it pertains to his research into treating glioblastoma, one of the most dangerous forms of brain cancer.

"They're super aggressive," Dr. Rotman, a researcher in the lab of Mayo Clinic neurosurgeon Alfredo Quinones-Hinojosa, M.D., says of glioblastoma tumors. "Despite treatment, patients will almost uniformly have a 100 percent recurrence. The most logical explanation for that is that there are single cells within these tumors that are highly evasive and highly migratory. So our job here in the research lab is to find and kill those cells." Read the rest of the article.
This story originally appeared on the In the Loop blog.