Researchers Discover Master Regulator in Cancer Metastasis
In the process of metastasis, the movement of cancer cells to different parts of the body, a specific master regulator gene plays a central role: a transcription factor named Sox4 activates a sequence of genes and triggers the formidable process. This finding is reported by researchers from the Univ. of Basel and from the Friedrich Miescher Institute in Cancer Cell. Inhibition of Sox4 and subsequent processes may prevent metastasis in cancer patients.
The predominant cause of death in cancer patients is metastasis, the formation of secondary tumors in other organs like the brain, liver and lungs. Cancer cells detach from the original primary tumor and reach a single cell or group of cells in another organ. The cells of the body normally remain in place through adhering to an extracellular substance. However, cancer cells learn how to release themselves from these bonds and invade surrounding tissues, blood and the lymphatic system.
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