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Trio of genes plays role in breast ca mets to brain

Trio of genes plays role in breast ca mets to brain

Cell surface coating may play a major role in the spread of breast cancer to the brain, according to a study out of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York. Three genes—COX2, HB-EGF, and ST6GALNAC5—have been found to mediate the metastasis of breast cancer to the brain, reported lead author Joan Massagu, PhD, and colleagues (Nature online, May 6, 2009).

COX2 and HB-EGF induce cancer cell mobility and invasiveness, while ST6GALNAC5 provide cells with the capability of exiting the blood circulation and passing through the blood-brain barrier, they explained. The researchers isolated cancer cells that preferentially targeted the brain from patients with advanced disease.

 
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