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Friday, 18 November 2011

Uncovering a key player in metastasis

Uncovering a key player in metastasis

MIT cancer biologists determine how platelets in the bloodstream help cancer cells form new tumors.
 
The exact role played by platelets has been unclear, but a new paper from Richard Hynes, the Daniel K. Ludwig Professor for Cancer Research, and colleagues shows that platelets give off chemical signals that induce tumor cells to become more invasive and plant themselves in new locations. The findings, published Nov. 14 in Cancer Cell.
 
“This work shows that platelets are not just a shield for circulating cancer cells, but also a traveling kit of pro-invasive stimuli,” says Joan Massagu√©, chair of the cancer biology and genetics program at the Sloan-Kettering Institute.
 
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