Primary tumours prepare the lung for invasion by inducing factors that guide migration of both inflammatory and tumour cells to the lung according to a study in the December issue of Nature Cell Biology.
Many solid tumours develop through a process of metastasis, where the cancer spreads from the primary site to other places in the body. Metastasis reduces both the chances of treatment and underlies late stage symptoms, yet research into the process is in its infancy.
Sachie Hiratsuka and colleagues studied tumour-bearing mice and found that certain proteins called chemokines are induced in the lung by a set of factors secreted by the primary tumour. The chemokines induce migration of both inflammatory and tumour cells to the lung. An amplifying circuit is created between the primary tumour and the premetastatic tissue to facilitate metastatic tumour invasion. Interrupting this circuit of signals between the primary tumour and cells in the lung efficiently blocked lung metastases in mice.
Blocking migration of tumour cells to the metastatic sites at an early stage presents a promising clinical avenue to prevent the spread of cancer.
Yoshiro Maru (Women's Medical University School of Medicine, Tokyo, Japan)
Abstract available online.
(C) Nature Cell Biology press release.
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