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Biomed Res Int. 2019 Apr 3;2019:4894083. doi: 10.1155/2019/4894083. eCollection 2019.

Effect of Weightlessness on the 3D Structure Formation and Physiologic Function of Human Cancer Cells.

Chen ZY1,2, Guo S1,2, Li BB1,3, Jiang N1,2, Li A1,3, Yan HF1, Yang HM1, Zhou JL4, Li CL1, Cui Y1.

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Department of General Surgery, 306 Hospital of PLA, Beijing 100101, China.
Department of General Surgery, 306 Hospital of PLA-Peking University Teaching Hospital, Beijing 100101, China.
Department of General Surgery, PLA 306 Clinical Hospital of Anhui Medical University, Beijing 230000, China.
Department of Pathology, 306 Hospital of PLA, Beijing 100101, China.


With the rapid development of modern medical technology and the deterioration of living environments, cancer, the most important disease that threatens human health, has attracted increasing concerns. Although remarkable achievements have been made in tumor research during the past several decades, a series of problems such as tumor metastasis and drug resistance still need to be solved. Recently, relevant physiological changes during space exploration have attracted much attention. Thus, space exploration might provide some inspiration for cancer research. Using on ground different methods in order to simulate microgravity, structure and function of cancer cells undergo many unique changes, such as cell aggregation to form 3D spheroids, cell-cycle inhibition, and changes in migration ability and apoptosis. Although numerous better experiments have been conducted on this subject, the results are not consistent. The reason might be that different methods for simulation have been used, including clinostats, random positioning machine (RPM) and rotating wall vessel (RWV) and so on. Therefore, we review the relevant research and try to explain novel mechanisms underlying tumor cell changes under weightlessness.

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