Metastases

"Cancer driver gene" reduces metastasis in prostate cancer

A gene that is responsible for cancer growth plays a totally unexpected role in prostate cancer. The gene Stat3 is controlled by the immune modulator interleukin 6 and normally supports the growth of cancer cells. The international ...

Jul 22, 2015
popularity22 comments 0

Lynchpin molecule for the spread of cancer found

Cancer is a disease of cell growth, but most tumors only become lethal once they metastasize or spread from their first location to sites throughout the body. For the first time, researchers at Thomas Jefferson University ...

Jul 13, 2015
popularity41 comments 0

Metastasis, or metastatic disease (sometimes abbreviated mets), is the spread of a disease from one organ or part to another non-adjacent organ or part. It was previously thought that only malignant tumor cells and infections have the capacity to metastasize; however, this is being reconsidered due to new research. The word metastasis means "displacement" in Greek, from μετά, meta, "next", and στάσις, stasis, "placement". The plural is metastases.

Cancer occurs after a single cell in a tissue is progressively genetically damaged to produce a cancer stem cell possessing a malignant phenotype. These cancer stem cells are able to undergo uncontrolled abnormal mitosis, which serves to increase the total number of cancer cells at that location. When the area of cancer cells at the originating site becomes clinically detectable, it is called a primary tumor. Some cancer cells also acquire the ability to penetrate and infiltrate surrounding normal tissues in the local area, forming a new tumor. The newly formed "daughter" tumor in the adjacent site within the tissue is called a local metastasis.

Some cancer cells acquire the ability to penetrate the walls of lymphatic and/or blood vessels, after which they are able to circulate through the bloodstream (circulating tumor cells) to other sites and tissues in the body. This process is known (respectively) as lymphatic or hematogeneous spread.

After the tumor cells come to rest at another site, they re-penetrate through the vessel or walls, continue to multiply, and eventually another clinically detectable tumor is formed. This new tumor is known as a metastatic (or secondary) tumor. Metastasis is one of three hallmarks of malignancy (contrast benign tumors). Most tumors and other neoplasms can metastasize, although in varying degrees (e.g. basal cell carcinoma) rarely metastasize.

When tumor cells metastasize, the new tumor is called a secondary or metastatic tumor, and its cells are like those in the original tumor. This means, for example, that, if breast cancer metastasizes to the lungs, the secondary tumor is made up of abnormal breast cells, not of abnormal lung cells. The tumor in the lung is then called metastatic breast cancer, not lung cancer.

This text uses material from Wikipedia licensed under CC BY-SA

Latest Spotlight News

Blocking a gene reduces fat

By blocking the expression of a certain gene in patients, University of Montreal researchers have contributed to the demonstration of great decreases in the concentration of triglycerides in their blood, even in various severe ...

Surprising similarity in fly and mouse motion vision

At first glance, the eyes of mammals and those of insects do not seem to have much in common. However, a comparison of the neural circuits for detecting motion shows surprising parallels between flies and mice. Scientists ...

Research grasps how the brain plans gripping motion

With the results of a new study, neuroscientists have a firmer grasp on the way the brain formulates commands for the hand to grip an object. The advance could lead to improvements in future brain-computer interfaces that ...