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How can cancer cells be understood through a lens other than strictly biological? Mechanical factors may serve a function in the genes never before understood.

Press play to learn:

  • How normal cells respond to stressors on the body
  • If organs as a whole change in response to the presence of cancer
  • How an encapsulated tumor affects surgery

Xi Huang, assistant professor in the department of molecular genetics at the University of Toronto, discusses his research on the mechanical aspects of cancer cells.

Cancer tissue in an organ can alter the rigidity of the tissue around it. A more rigid environment can be conducive to forming new growths of cancer if the pathways in the area allow for it.

Different stiffnesses in tissue can give clues into the stem cells of that specific cancer. If tumors of the same kind vary in stiffness, they may behave differently or have different impacts on the surrounding area.

To learn more, visit http://www.moleculargenetics.utoronto.ca/faculty/2015/7/2/xi-huang.

Episode also available on Apple Podcasts: apple.co/30PvU9C

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