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How some cancers 'poison the soil' to block metastasis
Date:4/30/2013

eloid cells were implicated as the main producers of Tsp-1, says Dr. Mittal.

In addition, Weill Cornell and Harvard researchers found that prosaposin secreted predominantly by the metastatic incompetent tumors, via the blood circulation increased expression of Tsp-1 in the premetastatic lungs. Thus, prosaposin works in combination with Tsp-1 to convert pro-metastatic bone marrow myeloid cells in the niche into cells that are not hospitable to cancer cells that spread from a primary tumor. "The very same myeloid cells in the niche that we know can promote metastasis can also be induced under the command of the metastatic incompetent primary tumor to inhibit metastasis," Dr. Mittal says.

The research team found that the Tsp-1-inducing activity of prosaposin was contained in only a 5-amino acid peptide region of the protein. This peptide alone induced Tsp-1 in the bone marrow cells and effectively suppressed metastatic spread in the lungs in mouse models of breast and prostate cancer. This 5-amino acid peptide with Tsp-1inducing activity has the potential to be directly used as a simple and safe therapeutic agent against metastatic cancer. The scientists have begun to test prosaposin in other tumor types or metastatic sites.

"The study's findings have clinical implications," Dr. Mittal says. "Not only is it theoretically possible to design a psosaposin-based drug or drugs that induce Tsp-1 to block cancer spread, but you could potentially create non-invasive prognostic tests to predict whether a cancer will metastasize."

According to researchers, quantifying prosaposin and Tsp-1 in a cancer patient's blood might provide predictions about their tumor's metastatic potential.

"These findings may represent several unique breakthroughs. The study provides a tangible strategy to prevent cancer spread, and this strategy would also be the first to target the microenvironment of the organs the cancer spreads to," Dr. Mittal says. '/>"/>

Contact: Lauren Woods
Law2014@med.cornell.edu
646-317-7401
Weill Cornell Medical College
Source:Eurekalert

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