New research findings at Weill Cornell Medical College suggest that targeting a single protein, versican, may help stop cancer spread.
Cancer cells must transform themselves in order to spread so they can detach from a tumor and spread to a distant organ. However, the new study shows that a single protein, versican, may reverse the process.
When the researchers stopped versican from functioning in mice, breast cancer could not “seed” themselves into the lungs and form secondary tumors.
“The results of this study are a critical step in deconstructing the process of metastases — which is critical to curing our patients,” says co-author Dr. Linda T. Vahdat, Director of the Breast Center Research Program and Chief of the Solid Tumor Service at Weill Cornell. “As a direct result of this study, we are working on ways to interrupt the process by which tumors co-opt the infrastructure in our bodies to grow and spread.”
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