Researchers at the University of Iowa did just that, documenting in real time and in 3-D how melanoma cells form tumors. The cells waste no time finding their cancerous cousins, slashing their way through a lab-prepared gel to quickly join other melanoma cells and form tumors.
Biology professor David Soll and his team used unique computer-assisted 3-D reconstruction software to chronicle how both breast tissue cancer cells and melanoma cells form tumors. The group found the two cancers act similarly in the joining stages of tumor formation. With that knowledge, they screened more than four dozen monoclonal antibodies — unique agents that can stop cells from growing or forming tumors and can be mass produced — before finding two that block tumor creation in both types of cancer.
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