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Signal Transduction: Choose the best cancer inhibitor Virtual Lab

Investigate the connection between blood vessel growth and cancer development. Use this knowledge to help the pharma company in their quest to uncover promising drug candidates to treat breast cancer patients.

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Signal Transduction: Choose the best cancer inhibitor

About this Simulation

This shorter, targeted simulation is adapted from the full-length “Signal Transduction” simulation.

How do tumors promote their growth in the human body? In this simulation, you will learn how tumor cells send signals to surrounding cells to help promote tumor growth, and how this signal is transmitted inside the cell. You will help a big pharma company uncover the most effective inhibitor to cancerous cell growth and therefore, a promising new drug candidate to treat breast cancer patients.

Analyze patient samples by western blotting

As a researcher in the R&D department of a big pharma company, your mission will be to test the hypothesis that increased blood vessel growth, also called angiogenesis, plays a role in breast cancer development. To investigate this idea, you will interpret the results of a western blot experiment to test for the expression of vascular endothelial growth factor receptor (VEGFR) expression in patient samples compared to healthy tissue samples.

Learn about VEGFR signal transduction

Following the interpretation of initial results, you will learn more about how VEGFR, a receptor tyrosine kinase (RTK) transmits an external signal to the inside of the cell, and how this influences angiogenesis. You will be able to follow the process in a 3D animation.

Develop a strategy for breast cancer therapy

Finally, your mission is to test different inhibitors targeting VEGFR signaling. You will design an experimental approach to test for the activity of this specific class of RTKs. Report back to the company with your key findings! Will you be able to identify a promising new drug candidate for treating patients with breast cancer?

Learning Objectives

At the end of this simulation, you will be able to:

  • Explain the principles and importance of intracellular signal transduction

  • Explain receptor tyrosine kinase (RTK) cell signaling

  • Analyze dysregulated signal transduction in human cancer cells

  • Understand the connection between angiogenesis and tumor growth

  • Investigate the involvement of vascular endothelial growth factor receptor (VEGFR) signaling in human breast cancer

Techniques in Lab

At the end of this simulation, you will be able to:

  • Western blotting
  • Inhibitor treatment
  • Histology
  • Cell culture

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Signal Transduction: Choose the best cancer inhibitor

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