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An Unprecedented Look at Colorectal Cancer


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A three-dimensional reconstruction of colorectal cancer.

Graphically reconstructing colorectal cancer revealed that what was once thought to be two-dimensional mucin pools with clusters of cancer cells inside is actually an extensive network of channels and caverns (in red, pink).

Credit: Clarence Yapp/Sorger Lab

Pathologists, engineers, and computational scientists at Harvard Medical School (HMS) have developed large-scale two-dimensional (2D) and three-dimensional (3D) spatial maps of colorectal cancer that layer molecular information on top of histological features.

These maps, which combine histology with single-cell molecular imaging data, offer detailed information about the cancer's structure, formation, progression, and immune system interaction.

The researchers stitched together detailed 2D maps of large regions of colorectal cancer into a large-scale 3D tumor reconstruction.

Said HMS' Sandro Santagata, "Our maps include information on almost 100 million cells from large pieces of tumors, and provide a rather unprecedented look at colorectal cancer."

Santagata added that the maps show "exciting architectural features that had never been observed before, as well as molecular changes associated with these features."

From Harvard Medical School News & Research
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Abstracts Copyright © 2023 SmithBucklin, Washington, DC, USA


 

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