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Cancer | They discover how tumor cells can be “asleep” for years

Lima, December 13, 2021Updated on 12/13/2021 02:49 pm

Most deaths from Cancer they are due to metastasis, which can occur even years later. New research answers why tumor cells can remain asleep and links it to the levels of a type of collagen that they secrete.

The study published by Nature Cancer and headed by Mount Sinai Hospital in New York thus answers one of the mysteries in cancer research and may have clinical implications.

The team investigated how cells after leaving a tumor and travel to other parts of the body before awakening to create a metastasis.

Cells remain dormant by secreting collagen called type III into the environment around them and only become malignant when levels of this substance drop.

For this reason, they consider that if the environment that surrounds the cells is enriched with that collagen, they could and prevent the recurrence of the tumor.

This discovery may have possible clinical implications, achieve a new biomarker to predict tumor recurrence and lead to a therapeutic intervention to reduce local and distant recurrences, said the head of the research, José Javier Bravo-Cordero, from Mount Sinaí.

This targeted intervention has been suggested as a therapeutic strategy to prevent metastatic growth.

“As the biology of tumor latency is discovered and specific new drugs are developed, a combination of treatments that induce latency will eventually prevent local recurrence and metastasis and pave the way for cancer remission.” the scientist considered.

Previous studies have focused on how tumor cells that have spread throughout the body come out of latency and the current

The research used high-resolution imaging techniques, including intravital two-photon microscopy, which allowed tumor sleeper cells to be followed in mouse models.

The researchers were able to see the changes in the architecture of the extracellular matrix as tumor cells went dormant and how it changed when they woke up.

In patient samples, they demonstrated that collagen abundance could be used as a potential measure to predict tumor recurrence and metastasis.

In mouse models, when scientists increased the amount of type III collagen around cancer cells that had emerged from a tumor, cancer progression was halted and the disseminated cells were forced into a dormant state.

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