Medical Research Council - London Institute of Medical Sciences

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October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month Migration Controls

Understanding the genetic control of cytoskeletal changes that affect breast cancer cell migration

18 October 2020

Migration Controls

Cancer is so dangerous because it doesn’t stay in one place. Instead, cancer cells go on the move, spreading around the body and forming secondary tumours elsewhere. Stopping this process of cell migration – known as metastasis – is a challenging task, but it could be a game-changer for cancer treatment. One of the first steps in a cancer cell’s migratory journey is to start changing shape, achieved by manipulating its internal ‘scaffolding’ or cytoskeleton (highlighted in green and pink in these images). In order to understand more about this process and potentially how to stop it, researchers have been investigating the impact of altering different genes in human breast cancer cells grown in the lab. Understanding more about the complex molecular processes that enable tumour cells to rearrange their cytoskeleton and embark on their journey around the body could lead to new ideas for stopping cancer in its tracks.

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Written by Kat Arney

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