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Archive for the ‘Life Science’ Category
Diners who are presented with information which shows the level of activity required to burn off the calories in a particular product or dish may be more likely to make healthier choices or limit their food intake, according to new research from a Texas Christian University team. Read the rest of this entry »
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Cancer spread could be being promoted through tumour-activated proteins, according to researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine and UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center.
In a study published in the Early Edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, it was reported that cancers physically alter the cells in the lymphatic system to promote the spread of disease through metastasis.
Around 90 per cent of all cancer deaths occur due to metastasis, which is the process in which the disease spreads from the original tumour site to multiple, distant tissues before overwhelming the patient's body.
One of the most common paths of transmission is through the lymph vessels and circulating tumour cells can lodge in the lymph nodes.
Researchers, led by principal investigator Dr Judith A Varner, professor of medicine at UC San DiegoMoores Cancer Center, discovered that a protein growth factor expressed by such tumours, namedVEGF-C activates the integrin α4β1 receptor on lymphatic vessels within lymph node tissues.
This results in them being more attractive and sticky to the metastatic tumour cells.
Dr Varner explained: "One of the most significant features of this work is that it highlights the way that tumours can have long-range effects on other parts of the body, which can them impact tumour metastasis or growth."
She added that the receptor in question could prove to be a valuable biomarker in the measurement of cancer risk, as any increase in the levels of the activated lymph tissue protein is an indirect indicator that an undetected tumour may be nearby.
In order to identify problem areas relatively quickly and effectively, Dr Varner said that whole-body imaging scans of the lymphatic network could prove helpful.
"The idea is that a radio-labelled or otherwise labelled anti-integrin α4β1 antibody could be injected into the lymphatic circulation, and it would only bind to and highlight the lymphatic vessels that have been activated by the presence of a tumour," she went on to say.