At Last, a Clue to Where Cancer Metastases Are Born

Tumor Cells Shown to Enter Bloodstream from Deep within Early-Stage Tumors

Even in remission, cancer looms. Former cancer patients and their doctors are always on alert for metastatic tumors. Now scientists at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) have discovered why some cancers may reoccur after years in remission.

The findings, published recently in the journal Cell Reports, show that invasive tumors can begin sending out tumor cells far earlier than previously thought. These escaping cells—which can enter the bloodstream before the primary tumor is detected—may seed secondary tumors that don’t show up for years.

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