Nov 23, 2018

Stopping Cancer Cells in Their Tracks

Posted by in category: biotech/medical

Researchers at the University of Minnesota have developed a technique to stop the movement of cancer cells. When cancer moves from a primary tumor to other sites in the body, it becomes far more dangerous to the patient, and that has driven scientists to work for years to learn more about how cancer cells migrate. This work, which was reported in Nature Communications, may help create therapeutics that can prevent cancer from spreading.

After targeting the “motors” that generate forces in cancer cells to move, the cancer cells switch to a dendritic or “flowing” response to follow pathways in tumors that drive cell migration and promote spreading of the cancer. / Credit: Tabdanov/Provenzano, University of Minnesota

When tumors grow in the body, they can create interior networks that cancer cells can use like a highway, ultimately moving closer to blood vessels and other neighboring tissues. When patients have cancerous tumors with a large number of those highways, there is a lower likelihoood they will survive the cancer. One thing that has eluded researchers, however, is knowing exactly how cancer cells are able to find and move along those highways.

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