The cancer process is a terrible disease, but with the appearance of metastases, it is immediately referred to as incurable.
In order to improve the survival rate of patients and overcome cancer metastases , the scientists decided to investigate in detail the topic of the formation of secondary tumors. They had to give answers to such questions: how is the spread and "germination" of cancer cells? How can I block this process?
Professor Christine Chaffer and other representatives of the Australian Medical Research Institute of Garvan were able to detect: mother tumors have their own potential to inhibit the growth of metastatic tumors. This is a unique natural mechanism that allows cancer to stop its own development. But can it be used to create the latest therapeutic methods?
In the course of studying the processes of formation and spread of metastases, scientists have found a suspicious ecosystem that plays a role in the development of oncopathology. Studies in rodents have shown that maternal breast tumors are able to block metastatic cells with the help of mediated chemical signals. To conduct such signals, the main tumor uses its own immune system, directing the body's leukocytes to attack metastases, preventing their growth.
“Under the influence of immunity, the daughter cells remain in a“ frozen ”state, and the metastatic tumor stops growing. We are amazed that maternal tumors are capable of blocking their own spread, ”the researchers say.
Despite the fact that the described processes were observed in the study of rodents, scientists are sure: there is every reason to believe that a similar mechanism of inhibition of the development of metastases is present in the human body.
While experts can not identify and mark all the stages of the detected mechanism. However, some of the signals that the tumor uses to stimulate immunity are already known. Scientists have yet to conduct a lot of research in order to transform these signals into a therapeutic drug for cancer metastases.
“Already now we can talk about the rarest success: we have been given a direction that will tell us how to treat metastatic cancer. At the moment, we set a goal to reproduce the specified natural process of suppression of the daughter cells in the conditions of medical practice. We need to understand and take into account all the moments that occur during the stimulation of immunocytes with a tumor, ”explains Professor Chaffer.
If the project is completed successfully, then many malignant processes will no longer be perceived by doctors and patients as a death sentence. According to some statistical information, about 0.02% of the breakaway daughter cells are able to form secondary neoplasms: now specialists have a very real opportunity to reset this indicator.
The results of the research of Australian scientists can be found on the pages of the publication Nature Cell Biology.