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Newly discovered behavior in cancer cells signals dangerous metastasis

ting structural cells of a tumor -- because the stroma is where the majority of epithelial-type cancer cells were observed. Their heavy presence implies that the stroma may have induced the cancer cells to revert to epithelial when they reached a new destination, so they could stabilize to populate a new tumor site.

"Our findings validate that tumors are highly complex in their behavior and don't necessarily need a gene mutation to alter their behavior," said Sebastian Oltean, M.D., Ph.D., research associate and first author of the journal article.

"Alterations in gene splicing can be much more subtle in nature but still have a major impact on the cancer cell and can be targets of therapy."

The team's next step is to determine precisely what controls the toggle mechanism in cancer cells, Garcia-Blanco said. Identifying the various steps that occur during the natural progression of tumors could lead to therapies for blocking metastasis, he said.


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Source:Duke University Medical Center


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