New discovery could provide tool to detect whether a cancer will develop and spread
This seems like more than your average grain of scientific finding about cancer.
When a physician discovers cancer in a patient, the first thing the doctor wants to know is whether that cancer has spread, or “metastasized.” This metastasis signifies that the patient has entered a new and potentially lethal phase of the disease. A new study opens up the possibility of detecting whether a tumor will spread long before a patient ever reaches that dangerous phase.
This discovery challenges current thinking about how a cancer develops and spreads. Rare or “rogue” cells may not be breaking away from the tumor and starting new tumors elsewhere, as previously thought. It now appears that the DNA structure for metastasis is actually hardwired into seemingly normal cells that are destined to become metastatic tumor cells.