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Metastasis formation revealed in detail and real time
Date:12/20/2009

e outer vessel wall or be unable to induce angiogenesis". In the absence of angiogenesis, even cells that had attached to the outer vessel wall and proliferated strongly at first eventually died.

As Winkler and his colleagues confirmed, many cancer cells can remain in a resting state for long periods, and then suddenly begin to grow again. "This is why metastases often appear years after successful therapy of the original tumor", he says. It turns out that direct contact with a blood vessel is also essential for the survival of resting tumor cells. These new findings should soon contribute to improving patient care. Winkler's team have already shown that the anti-cancer drug Avastin blocks the angiogenesis step, so that further growth of micrometastases is permanently inhibited. "We now want to test other types of cancer drugs for their effects on the single steps of metastasis formation", says Winkler. "Thanks to these insights, it may be possible to discover new substances that allow us to treat existing metastases effectively, or even prevent them from developing at all".


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Contact: Luise Dirscherl
dirscherl@lmu.de
49-089-218-02706
Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitt Mnchen
Source:Eurekalert

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