Research led by the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute has discovered a new biological target for drugs to reduce the spread of tumours in cancer patients. Published in Nature today, the study with genetically modified mice found 23 genes that are involved in regulating the spread of cancers. The researchers showed that targeting one of these genes — Spns2 — led to a three-quarters reduction in tumour spread.
The spread of tumours — metastasis — to other sites in the body is the leading cause of death for cancer patients. Up to 90 per cent of cancer deaths are due to this, however the process that regulates the spread of tumours is very poorly understood.
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