the Spread of cancer, or metastasis, is one of the most dangerous complications of cancer. It is often secondary foci of tumor growth (metastases) do not allow the patient to heal completely, as the disease continues to spread, even when the primary tumor is removed.
to prevent or stop this process, scientists need to begin to examine it in detail.
Those involved including researchers from the Catholic University of Louvain in Belgium. In a previous paper, they found that “roads” on which the cancer feeds fat.
the team’s Experiments showed that the most aggressive cancer cells use a significant amount of fats (lipids) as energy sources.
Continuing their research, the scientific group under the leadership of Olivier Feron (Olivier Feron) found that cancer cells accumulate lipids in small intracellular vesicles called lipid droplets.
In this case, the cells loaded with lipids are more prone to metastasize.
the Team determined that the key role in this case plays a protein known as transforming growth factor beta (namely TGF-beta2).
According to scientists, it acts as a switch, are responsible for the lipid accumulation and the aggressive behavior of cancer cells.
moreover, it was found that these two processes reinforce each other. In fact, accumulating lipids (or fatty acids), cancer cells create energy, which can then use as needed throughout the metastatic process.
Previously, it was found that the acidity of tumors promotes the penetration of their cells in healthy tissue.
Another discovery by Belgian scientists is that the acidity through the same “switch” of TGF-beta2 promotes the growth of invasive potential of cancer cells and formation of lipid droplets. The latter, in turn, providesyut tumor cells with the energy required to move and survive in new conditions.
It’s like that to provide the climber the food and equipment needed to conquer new heights in severe weather conditions, give an analogy the authors.
Now, exposing the new “actors”, involved in metastasis, researchers will be able to improve cancer therapy. In fact the doctors has a new target.
According to Professor Feron and his colleagues to prevent metastasis, it is necessary to use specific means of slowing or blocking protein expression of TGF-beta2, as well as compounds able to block the transport of fatty acids or the formation of fats.
it may well be appropriate drugs created for the treatment of obesity. It is necessary to test such drugs, to see which of them can counteract the formation of metastases, the scientists conclude.
Scientific article on the results of their work presented in the journal Nature Communications.
by the Way, earlier researchers have presented methods by which you can turn cancer cells into the fat. This will not only help to stop the formation of metastases, but also to make the primary tumor more susceptible to chemotherapy.
Also “Conduct.Science” (nauka.vesti.ru) said that researchers have learned how to block the spread of metastases using protein therapy and nanosilica filled with poison.