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New view of tumors' evolution
Date:3/13/2014

en is lost, the pathway becomes overactive, allowing tumor cells to grow very rapidly.

Drugs that target the PI3K pathway are now in the early stages of clinical testing in human patients.

Retracing metastasis

The researchers also compared the genomes of cells from the original lung tumors and from tumors that later appeared in other sites. This enabled them to retrace the tumor cells' paths and to determine which lung tumors were the sources of the metastases. They found that while multiple subsets of cells from the lung tumors could move to the lymph nodes, usually only a single subset from the lymph nodes spread to the liver.

"Our data really add to this emerging idea that metastatic spread is quite complicated, and that there may be different populations within a single cancer moving around to different sites, which may complicate treatments," McFadden says.

The researchers now hope to perform further genetic analysis to identify which mutations make certain cells more likely to metastasize. They also plan to try treating small cell lung tumors with chemotherapy drugs and observing the genetic changes that occur as cancer cells become resistant to treatment.


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Contact: Sarah McDonnell
s_mcd@mit.edu
617-253-8923
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Source:Eurekalert

Page: 1 2 3

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