The spread of cancers through the body could be halted by targeting a protein that helps cells latch on to each other, reveals a new study.
The spreading of cancer from an initial tumour to other parts of the body – called metastasis – frequently means there is little hope a person can be saved. But scientists have now modified a naturally occurring human protein to disrupt this deadly process in mouse models of human breast cancer.
“We were able to significantly reduce the spread of the disease and decrease tumour growth without any evidence of toxicity,” says Gary Jarvis, a microbiologist at the University of California in San Francisco. “If we can stop metastasis in humans, we will have gone a long way towards successfully treating cancer.”