Water in Breast Cancer Cells ​Responds to Chemotherapy Drug​

February 2, 2020
Top: QENS signal broadening from breast cancer cells treated (TC) or not treated (NTC) with chemotherapy drug.​ Below: illustration of translational water motions appearing in the cells after chemotherapy treatment.​
Top: QENS signal broadening from breast cancer cells treated (TC) or not treated (NTC) with chemotherapy drug.​ Below: illustration of translational water motions appearing in the cells after chemotherapy treatment.​

Scientific Achievement

Chemotherapy alters the dynamic and thermodynamic properties of water in breast cancer cells.

Significance and Impact

Water mobility in cancer cells could help predict the progression or remission of tumors, so it is important to investigate the impact of chemotherapy on cellular water.

Research Details

  • MCF-7 breast cancer cells were treated with the anti-cancer drug Paclitaxel (PTX) and compared to untreated cells.​
  • Inelastic neutron scattering shows an increase ​
  • in the collective vibrational density of states in treated cells.​
  • Quasielastic neutron scattering, or QENS, shows ​
  • an increase in water diffusion in treated cells.​

M. L. Martins, A. B. Dinitzen, E. Mamontov, S. Rudic, ​J. E. M. Pereira, R. Hartmann-Petersen, K. W. Herwig, and ​H. N. Bordallo, Scientific Reports 9, 8704 (2019) ​