Breakthrough made in understanding why only some cancer cells spread

Medical Government/ NHS related news

UK scientists have made a significant breakthrough in understanding why only some breast cancer cells spread around the body.

For some patients, a tumour remains in one location, but for others, their cancer spreads to other areas, with a recent study carried out at the Institute for Cancer Research finding that this may be due to a fault in the YAP molecule.

“Scientists have made a significant breakthrough in understanding why only some cancer cells spread around the body.“

YAP sends information to cancerous cells noting changes in their shape or environment, encouraging them to return to their 'home' site. However, the investigation led to the discovery that the YAP function appears to be broken in the cells of some breast cancer patients, leading the disease to spread further around the body. This is because the cells do not receive the information to return to their original environment as a result of the fault.

Experts hope that this discovery will help to play a key role in developing effective new treatments for breast cancer, which could focus on the YAP molecule to stop the illness from spreading around a patient's body.

Dr Emma Smith, science information manager at Cancer Research UK, stated: "Further work is needed to find out if blocking these signals can stop cancer spreading in people."

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