New Discovery Sheds Light on Why Cancer Cells Spread
Researchers at the University of Hawaii Cancer Center in Honolulu have identified a mechanism behind how some cancer cells spread, or metastasize – a discovery that that could one day lead to new cancer treatments. About 90 percent of cancer-related deaths are caused by metastatic disease.
Mutant proteins called oncogenes cause cancer cells to multiply uncontrollably and promote their ability to move, which drives metastasis. Precisely how this activity occurs is highly complex and remains largely unknown.
The new findings, published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), suggest that oncogenes stimulate certain proteins that promote cancer cell movement. Developing new ways to inhibit this action could prevent metastasis in people with oncogenic mutations.