Breast Cancer Cells in Microgravity: New Aspects for Cancer Research

Mohamed Zakaria Nassef, Daniela Melnik, Sascha Kopp, Jayashree Sahana, Manfred Infanger, Ronald Lützenberg, Borna Relja, Markus Wehland, Daniela Grimm, Marcus Krüger

Research output: Contribution to journal/Conference contribution in journal/Contribution to newspaperReviewResearchpeer-review


Breast cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in females. The incidence has risen dramatically during recent decades. Dismissed as an "unsolved problem of the last century", breast cancer still represents a health burden with no effective solution identified so far. Microgravity (µg) research might be an unusual method to combat the disease, but cancer biologists decided to harness the power of µg as an exceptional method to increase efficacy and precision of future breast cancer therapies. Numerous studies have indicated that µg has a great impact on cancer cells; by influencing proliferation, survival, and migration, it shifts breast cancer cells toward a less aggressive phenotype. In addition, through the de novo generation of tumor spheroids, µg research provides a reliable in vitro 3D tumor model for preclinical cancer drug development and to study various processes of cancer progression. In summary, µg has become an important tool in understanding and influencing breast cancer biology.

Original languageEnglish
Article number7345
JournalInternational Journal of Molecular Sciences
Pages (from-to)1-22
Number of pages22
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2020


  • Apoptosis
  • Cancer therapeutic targets
  • Cell adhesion
  • Cytoskeleton
  • In vitro 3D tumor model
  • Metastasis
  • Proliferation


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