Tissue necrosis and its role in cancer progression

Adi Karsch-Bluman, Ariel Feiglin, Eliran Arbib, Tal Stern, Hila Shoval, Ouri Schwob, Michael Berger, Ofra Benny

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

76 Scopus citations


Great efforts have been made in revealing the mechanisms governing cancer resistance and recurrence. The in-situ effects of cell death, caused by hypoxia and metabolic stress, were largely studied in association with inflammation. However, in this work, we focused on the direct effects of necrosis on cancer promotion and on the tumor microenvironment. The conditions leading to cell necrosis, upon nutrient and oxygen deprivation, were recapitulated in-vitro and were used to generate samples for computational proteomic analysis. Under these conditions, we identified clusters of enriched pathways that may be involved in tumor resistance, leading to cancer recurrence. We show that the content of necrotic cells enhances angiogenesis and proliferation of endothelial cells, induces vasculature, as well as increases migration, invasion, and cell-cell interactions. In-vivo studies, where MDA-MB-231 xenografts were exposed to necrotic lysates, resulted in an increase in both proliferation and angiogenesis. Histological analysis of tumor tissues revealed high expression levels of key mediators that were identified by proteomic analysis. Moreover, when cells were injected systemically, coupled with necrotic lysates, a higher number of large lesions was detected in the lung. Finally, using xenografts, we demonstrated that combining an antagonist of a necrotic signal with an anticancer treatment potentiates the prolonged therapeutic effect. This approach suggests a paradigm shift in which targeting late necrotic-secreted factors may increase survival and enhance the efficacy of anticancer therapy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1920-1935
Number of pages16
Issue number11
StatePublished - 14 Mar 2019
Externally publishedYes

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© 2018, Springer Nature Limited.


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