Next Nobel Prize? Scientists discover the origin of metastasis

Next Nobel Prize?  Scientists discover the origin of metastasis

A team of researchers could be close to discovering the development of metastasis thanks to a new study that reveals its origin.

Multiple mechanisms underlie the spread, localization, and remote seeding of metastatic cells. which cause most of the cancer-related deaths. However, the origin of the metastasis remains obscure.

However, scientists from the University of Geneva (UNIGE) have discovered some of the mechanisms by which these cells arise.

Scientists identified how cells escaped chemotherapy treatment

At the origin of metastasis, cancer cells break away from the original (primary) tumor, separate from it, and migrate to other organs and form new tumors. Such a pattern of spread reduces the chances of recovery of metastatic cancer.

The scientists identified how cells narrowly escaped cell death (apoptosis) after a chemotherapy treatment. Those cells are reprogrammed to acquire metastatic abilities.

In an earlier study, scientists identified metastatic cells during migration. It is known that specific treatments they induce them. But the mechanism of its development remains a mystery.

Ariel Ruiz I Altaba, Full Professor of the Department of Genetic Medicine and Development of the UNIGE School of Medicine, said: “We do not know why, at a given moment, certain cells separate from the primary tumor. The phenomenon is difficult to analyze because, before they migrate. There is nothing to distinguish future metastatic cells, or pro-metastatic cells, from other cells within the tumor.”


The scientists in this studio found some answers. They found that the experience of imminent death within the primary tumor pushes specific cells to acquire metastasic statesyes

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This near-death experience occurs particularly with particular therapies to deprive cancer cells of energy or oxygen. The scientists observed that these cells, which should have died, are reprogrammed and then present a high risk of metastasis. These cells are called PAME for “pr-metastatic post-apoptotic cells”.

The scientists used tumor samples taken from two cancer patients colon for study. They then transplanted the samples from tumors to the mice. Are cells were exposed to an experience of imminent death that caused stress in the endoplasmic reticulum induced by chemotherapy drugs specific. This allowed the development of PAME cells.

These PAME cells induce cytokines, proteins and other factors that ensure the cell to cell communication. Which causes adjacent cells to become PIM, for PAME-induced migratory cells. These PIMs then associate with PAMEs and help them migrate to form metastasis.

These results open promising new perspectives for therapeutic management

The present results open new promising perspectives for the therapeutic managementincluding the prevention of the development of prometastatic fields generated by certain treatments.

“Currently, one of the main criteria when defining a treatment is tumor reduction. Thanks to our study, PAME cells now appear as potential therapeutic and metastasis prevention targets to be taken into account”, concludes Professor Ruiz Altaba.

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