An anonymous reader writes "Although researchers have traditionally focused on genetic mutations within the cell from studying cancer development, recent studies have shown that malignant cells do not always develop into tumors, and that the fates of these cells depend on how they interact with their surrounding microenvironment.
While previous studies found that the manipulation of a cell's environment through the introduction of biochemical inhibitors could control malignant mammary cells into behaving normally, the latest research takes a step forward by introducing the concept of mechanical rather than chemical influences on cancer cell growth.
They found that "squeezing" stops malignant breast cancer cells from spreading and turns them back into healthy cells, according to new research revealing, for the first time, that simple mechanical forces alone can revert and stop out-of-control growth of cancer cells. More importantly, scientists found that this transformation can happen even if the genetic mutations responsible for the cancer remain, setting up a fight between nature and nurture in determining a cell's fate."
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