Mechanism that causes cancer to metastasize identified

cancerMadrid (IANS/EFE): An international team of researchers has found the mechanism whereby cancerous cells manage to spread from their original location to other parts of the body through the process known as metastasis.

The results of the study, headed by Manel Esteller, the director of the Cancer Epigenetics and Biology Programme at the Bellvitge Biomedical Research Institute in Barcelona, Spain, have been published in the Nature Medicine magazine.

The study was conducted on melanomas — a malignant tumour associated with skin cancer, but the researchers found that this mechanism is also found in colon and breast cancer.

Metastasis is responsible for 90 percent of cancer deaths and understanding the mechanisms responsible for this process is one of the prime objectives of the research, Esteller said.

Looking for differences, the researchers found that among all a patient’s genes, there is just one that clearly differs between those two groups.

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