Genetics of Metastasis

(From EurekAlert). Researchers "have discovered an additional member of the S100 family of protein genes - S100P - that causes the spread of cancerous cells from an original tumour to other parts of the body. ... To date, three other metastasis-inducing genes have been discovered - S100A4, osteopontin, and more recently, AGR2. ... Metastagenes are fundamental to this process and can be found in most common cancers, including breast, lung and colon. If these genes are over-expressed in the cancerous tumour, early death of the patient is much more likely. The next major step is to develop drugs that will switch off the action of these genes." While neurodegenerative diseases are likely to be the long-term obstacle to radical life extension, cancer is the toughest near-term threat. The closer scientists come to uncovering and understanding common mechanisms, the more likely we are to see effective prevention and cure within the next decade.



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