“The models used in this study have allowed the evaluation of disseminating cancer cell adipogenesis in the immediate tumour surroundings,” the team writes.
“The results indicate that in a patient-relevant setting combined therapy with rosiglitazone and trametinib specifically targets cancer cells with increased plasticity and induces their adipogenesis.”
Although not all cancer cells turned into fat using this method, the ones that underwent the process didn’t change back into cancer cells. The remaining cancer cells within the tumor were no longer able to proliferate unchecked.
“The breast cancer cells that underwent an EMT not only differentiated into fat cells, but also completely stopped proliferating,” Christofori said, as reported by Eureka Alert. “As far as we can tell from long-term culture experiments, the cancer cells-turned-fat cells remain fat cells and do not revert back to breast cancer cells,” he says.
According to Christofori, cells undergoing EMT or MET are in a highly changeable state, and this provides a window of opportunity for therapeutic targeting. The drugs also suppressed the growth of primary tumors in the mice and prevented the tumors from metastasizing throughout the animals’ bodies.