Scientists unlock a key to why cancer spreads
The main reason cancer can be deadly is because it spreads. In fact, 90 per cent of all cancer deaths are not caused by the original tumour. The real danger comes when those tumour cells invade other parts of the body - like the lungs, liver, or lymph nodes. That's when it gets the name we all dread: metastatic cancer.
When we fight cancer, we usually target those tumours — with radiation, surgery or chemo — hoping to get at the cancer before it spreads and becomes uncontrollable.
But a team of American researchers is developing a new strategy. They're not targeting the tumour. Instead, they're targeting the spread — hoping to slow it down or stop it, right in its tracks.
- Research Paper - Synergistic IL-6 and IL-8 paracrine signalling pathway infers a strategy to inhibit tumour cell migration
By studying tumours in 3-D, rather than the standard, flat petri dish, Dr. Hasini Jayatilaka — a post doctaral researcher at Johns Hopkins University, has discovered what triggers cancer cells to leave the original site and invade the rest of the body.