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Stanford mechanical engineers give breast cancer research a boost

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One of the most puzzling questions in breast cancer research is why some tumors stay put, while rogue cells from others break free and spread to surrounding tissues, the first step toward creating a more lethal disease. Although researchers have found some signs in mutated genes or telltale proteins on the cell’s surface, those discoveries don’t tell the whole story.

One of the most puzzling questions in breast cancer research is why some tumors stay put, while rogue cells from others break free and spread to surrounding tissues, the first step toward creating a more lethal disease. Although researchers have found some signs in mutated genes or telltale proteins on the cell’s surface, those discoveries don’t tell the whole story.

Curiously, one path to unraveling this mystery may lie in a field not usually associated with cancer research: mechanical engineering.

“Over the last 20 years or so there’s been increasing evidence that mechanical properties of breast tissue play a key role in promoting breast cancer progression,” said Ovijit Chaudhuri, an assistant professor of mechanical engineering, and a member of both Stanford ChEM-H and Stanford Bio-X.

Continue reading at Stanford University