Stopping cancer’s spread

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Scientists say they’ve  identified the pathways that allow cancers to spread and that could lead to a breakthrough for new treatments.  It’s not the cancer itself, but the metastasis, the spreading of the cancer to other parts of the body that often kills. That’s why discovering the metabolic pathways by which it spreads will save lives.  
 
“So developing drugs that would inhibit that process would be completely transformative in the lives of cancer patients,” says Ralph DeBerardinis, MD, Ph.D. Children’s Medical Center Research Institute at UT Southwestern.
 
He’s part of the research team that found a different form of metabolism within the cancer cells that allow them to live and grow while spreading away from their original location.  
 
“The metabolism of a cancer cell is different from the metabolism of a normal cell, ” he explains.
 
The cancer cells they study come from living cancer patients.  While most treatments are directed towards specific tumors, drugs developed from this research will target the pathways, like water putting out a fire, to stop the deadly spread of cancer. 
 
Dr. DeBerardinis says, “the most exciting thing by far is that this could be a new way to curtail metastasis in cancer patients.”  
 
The researchers say more study will need to be done to test the role of the pathway in living organisms, before new drugs can be developed.
 

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February 07 2021 06:30 pm

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