The key process behind the metastasis of colon cancer is discovered by Catalan scientists
Scientists from the Colorectal Cancer Laboratory at the Barcelona Institute of Biomedical Research (IRB) have discovered the essential process that allows colon cancer cells to metastasise. They have concluded that tumour cells need to form alliances with healthy cells in order to be able to colonise other organs. Tumour cells can survive in the transition period during the metastasis process thanks to a protein (interleukin-11), which is produced by healthy cells that are exposed to another protein (TGF-beta) present in the tumour’s microenvironment. This discovery may lead to new treatments and diagnostic proceedings for colon cancer patients. A test to predict relapse cases and target treatments is likely to be ready in 5 years. The study has been published by the prestigious journal Cancer Cell.