Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Scientists Discover How Body Fights To Control Spread Of Cancer

Date:
January 9, 2007
Source:
University of Liverpool
Summary:
Scientists at the University of Liverpool have found how two molecules fight in the blood to control the spread of cancer cells.

Scientists at the University of Liverpool have found how two molecules fight in the blood to control the spread of cancer cells.

Researchers discovered that a large protein, which forms a protective shield around cancer cells and prevents them from causing secondary tumours, is attacked by a small protein that exists in the blood.

In diseases such as breast, lung and colorectal cancer, infected cells lose growth control and eventually form tumours at these sites. If caught early these tumours can be effectively removed surgically. However, when the cancer cells have invaded the blood, the effectiveness of surgery is reduced.

Cancerous cells that have entered the blood, however, are still prevented from causing further disease by the protective shield of a protein called MUC1 in which the cancerous cells are eventually destroyed by our immune system. Scientists have now discovered how this protective shield is broken down, allowing cancer to spread throughout the body.

Dr Lu-Gang Yu, from the University's School of Clinical Sciences, explains: "MUC1 on the cell surface prevents the cancer cells from attaching to the blood vessel wall which causes secondary tumours. We have discovered that a small protein called galectin-3, attacks MUC1 and breaks up its protective shield, forcing large areas of the cancer cell to become exposed. The exposed areas of the cell allow the cancer to attach to the blood vessel wall. The cancer cells then eventually penetrate the blood wall to form tumours at secondary sites.

"The attachment of cancer cells to the blood vessel wall is one of the key steps in the spread of cancer. It has been known for a few years that galectin-3 concentration is significantly higher in the blood of cancer patients than in healthy people but until now scientists did not know whether this increase played any role in the spread of cancer. Our study indicates that galectin-3 may play a critical role and may have significant implications for future developments of drugs for the treatment of the disease."

Dr Yu's work is published in the Journal of Biological Chemistry.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Liverpool. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Liverpool. "Scientists Discover How Body Fights To Control Spread Of Cancer." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 9 January 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/01/070108145806.htm>.
University of Liverpool. (2007, January 9). Scientists Discover How Body Fights To Control Spread Of Cancer. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 19, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/01/070108145806.htm
University of Liverpool. "Scientists Discover How Body Fights To Control Spread Of Cancer." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/01/070108145806.htm (accessed April 19, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

'Holy Grail' Of Weight Loss? New Find Could Be It

'Holy Grail' Of Weight Loss? New Find Could Be It

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) In a potential breakthrough for future obesity treatments, scientists have used MRI scans to pinpoint brown fat in a living adult for the first time. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Little Progress Made In Fighting Food Poisoning, CDC Says

Little Progress Made In Fighting Food Poisoning, CDC Says

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) A new report shows rates of two foodborne infections increased in the U.S. in recent years, while salmonella actually dropped 9 percent. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists Create Stem Cells From Adult Skin Cells

Scientists Create Stem Cells From Adult Skin Cells

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) The breakthrough could mean a cure for some serious diseases and even the possibility of human cloning, but it's all still a way off. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Obama: 8 Million Healthcare Signups

Obama: 8 Million Healthcare Signups

AP (Apr. 17, 2014) President Barack Obama gave a briefing Thursday announcing 8 million people have signed up under the Affordable Care Act. He blasted continued Republican efforts to repeal the law. (April 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins