A vaccine researcher at the University of Toronto is interested in fitting devices that can control when blood is reabsorbed from tumors, also known as platelets, from a patient’s blood, in order to exert some control on cancer spread.
In a CF section of lymphoma, platelets are so easily forced out of the bloodstream that their mobility cannot match, leading to megastic hypoxia (the inability to efficiently reabsorb blood). This causes tumor large enough to require removal of the entire blood, even a region of the entire cellular layer that surrounds the cells.
Peter Safren, a professor of biomedical engineering, and assistant professor at the University of Toronto, is looking for ways to rescue the platelet from its forced expulsion.
“It’s a trapping issue, ” said Professor Safren, who noted that platelets will move “outwards from the tumor and then eventually escape from the many cells of the clonal blood” circulating in a clinical setting. “This is a pretty hostile environment, because these cells don’t have a fight against the disease itself. “
The reason platelets eventually self-destruct, he believes, is through a protein called GRID2 that is retained in the circulation — the plasma of a cancer patient — and which is therefore essential for the management of the disease.
“GRID2 is essential for the survival and maintenance of the cancer, ” said Safren. “Without GRID2, the ability for the cancer to persist is limited. Without GRID2, the platelets don’t work as effectively. “
Through his research, Safren and his team aim to learn more about the GRID2 protein which, he said, could be used as a diagnostic tool to detect patients at risk of platelet extirpation, a common in-depth carpal degeneration in which platelets can open the opening inside a non-cancer cell, allowing the release of pro-regenerating fragments into the blood.
Cancer received global attention in 2016, with The Cancer Cell paper ‘GRID is an essential component of myeloid-derived suppressor regional lymphoma’.