March 27, 2023


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Important discovery regarding tumor metastases

Important discovery regarding tumor metastases

These discoveries open up a new way to understand how Cancerous tumors have spread to other tissues through metastasisand showing new ways to prevent the spread of cancer by targeting it.

The study, published in Nature, shows that cancerous tumors suppress activity of a key enzyme in propionate metabolism — a process by which cells digest certain fatty acids and protein components. Inhibition of this enzyme activity Increases production of methylmalonic acid (MMA). This, in turn, makes the cells more aggressive and invasive.

Cancer is the second leading cause of death worldwide, and Malignancy accounts for a large proportion of these deaths. When a tumor begins to spread to different tissues and organs in the body, it can quickly become difficult or impossible to treat. However, scientists have made little progress in understanding how a cancer cell acquires the ability to spread.

Much work has focused on the initiation and growth of the primary tumor or on the study of metastasis, but the transition from primary to metastatic tumor has not been thoroughly investigated – said the professor. John Plinis of Weill Cornell Medicine.

Blenis’ team has worked for several years to describe the metabolic changes cells undergo during metastatic transformation. These works have shown that people age They produce more MMA in serum (Although the source of this phenomenon remains unknown), higher levels of MMA lead to worse outcomes for cancer. Healthy cells also produce MMA, so Blenis’ team looked in more depth at the cancer-related effects of this metabolite in a new study.

“Cancer cells can take the pathway by which methylmalonic acid is produced, creating a feedback cycle that leads to the tumor’s progression toward more aggressive and metastatic forms,” ​​said Vivian Lu of the Plinys Laboratory.

This discovery complements a growing body of work showing that specific metabolites are called oncometabolitescan affect many aspects of tumor development and metastasis.

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