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'Self-seeding' of cancer cells may play a critical role in tumor progression
Date:12/24/2009

cells of various tumor types in addition to breast cancer, including colon cancer and melanoma.

"These results provide us with opportunities to explore new targeted therapies that may interfere with the self-seeding process and perhaps slow or even prevent tumor progression," said the study's senior author, Joan Massagu, PhD, Chair of the Cancer Biology and Genetics Program at Memorial Sloan-Kettering and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator.

The concept of self-seeding sheds light on clinical observations such as the relationship between the tumor size, prognosis, and local relapse following seemingly complete removal of a primary breast tumor. "We know there is an association between large tumor size and poor prognosis. This was always thought to reflect the ability of larger cancers to release more cells with metastatic potential. But this association may actually be caused by the ability of aggressive cancer cells to self-seed, promoting both local tumor growth and distant metastases by similar mechanisms," said study co-author Larry Norton, MD, Deputy Physician-in-Chief for Breast Cancer Programs at Memorial Sloan-Kettering.


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Contact: Esther Napolitano
napolite@mskcc.org
646-227-3573
Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center
Source:Eurekalert

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