Scientists at the Salk Institute have identified a gene responsible for stopping the movement of cancer from the lungs to other parts of the body, indicating a new way to fight one of the world’s deadliest cancers.
By identifying the cause of this metastasis – which often happens quickly in lung cancer and results in a bleak survival rate – Salk scientists are able to explain why some tumours are more prone to spreading than others. The newly discovered pathway, detailed in the journal Molecular Cell, may also help researchers understand and treat the spread of melanoma and cervical cancers.
“Lung cancer, even when it’s discovered early, is often able to metastasise almost immediately and take hold throughout the body,” says Reuben J Shaw, Salk professor of molecular and cell biology and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute early career scientist. “The reason behind why some tumours do that and others don’t has not been very well understood. Now, through this work, we are beginning to understand why some subsets of lung cancer are so invasive.”
Source: Salk Institute for Biological Studies