09 Jun '11, 2pm

Key to Spread of Breast Cancer Identified in New Study

Using models of human and mouse breast cancer, the researchers demonstrated that when breast tumor cells travel to the lung, these cells secrete CCL2, a chemokine molecule (i.e., one that attracts cells). CCL2 attracts immune cells called inflammatory monocytes -- in particular, those bearing receptors for CCL2, which then develop into macrophages. The monocytes and macrophages "invited" by CCL2 signaling then facilitate extravasation – the critical step in metastasis in which bloodborne tumor cells cross the vessel wall and implant in nearby tissue. One way monocytes help tumor cells escape from blood vessels and cause metastasis, the Einstein researchers found, is by secreting vascular endothelial growth factor, or VEGF, a substance that makes blood vessels leaky at the site where tumor cells exit from them.

Full article: http://www.care2.com/causes/health-policy/blog/key-to-spr...

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