Scientists studied the model of the tumor in the chicken embryo model and cancer of the head and neck in the bodies of rodents.
The main difficulty in cancer treatment is the following: even if the doctors have removed the primary tumor, the disease could already have spread throughout the body. In the result, the cancer will appear again and again in different parts of the body.
More recently, however, researchers of the research Institute of SCRIPPS, USA, have identified a protein that fuels the process of metastasis (formation of secondary foci of tumor growth (metastases) in the proliferation of cells from the primary tumor to other tissues). Moreover, they found that the decrease in the content of the studied protein allows to curb the primary tumor, not allowing her to send “agents” into the surrounding tissue. In other words, the new work may give scientists the opportunity to stop the process of metastasis, according to a press release from the University.
The “instigator” of the study was the transforming growth factor beta 1 (TGF-β). It is a signalling protein that normally controls the growth of healthy cells. However, cancer can change the rules due to the mutation, allowing him to evade detection by the immune system (which, by the way, is also taught to defend against cunning enemies) and spread.
Many experts believe TGF-β good aim to explore potential ways of dealing with cancer. But the problem is that TGF-β also has positive functions in the body, therefore, doctors unprofitable to suppress the action of this protein completely.
American experts have focused their efforts on the study of protein LTBP3. The latter regulates TGF-β, so the scientists experimented with him to find out his role in the metastasis of cancer (and whether it exists at all).
It turned out that LTBP3 protein nourishes a chain reaction, leading to the fact that just starting to develop tumors grow new blood vessels. The latter then act like real highways, helping cancer cells to spread throughout the body (by the way, a very enviable role in this process is the fat).
They created lines of tumor cells of the person presenting with cancer of the prostate, head, neck and fibrosarcoma. In each model, they violated the expression and production of LTBP3.
It turned out that in each model, the primary tumor was not able to effectively metastasize without LTBP3.
According to scientists, their experimental data showed that LTBP3 active in the very early stages of metastatic spread of the disease.