Dec 22, 2012
By Bob Sheppard
Canadian scientists have made a major discovery on how cancer spreads.
They say tumour cells appear to co-opt normal cells around them, in effect “talking” them into helping the cancer set up shop in other parts of the body.
The process, called metastasis, is what often makes malignancies so challenging to treat and typically more deadly.
The lead researcher is Jeff Wrana, a molecular biologist at the Samuel Lunenfeld Research Institute in Toronto.
Wrana and his colleagues found that tumour cells get sets of instructions in the form of protein “messages” passed between healthy and cancerous cells.