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It seems as if cancer breakthroughs are happening every week. This one, though, is truly exciting. Now British scientists have found a way to trap a tumor so it cannot spread throughout the body--which is the main reason why people die from the disease.
Everyone has cells called fibroblasts, which help maintain our body's tissues. The cells inside a tumor corrupt these cells, causing them to stiffen so that the cancerous cells can adhere to them and then tunnel through, enter the bloodstream, and spread to other organs in the body.
A drug that's already being used on anemia patients has the ability to reprogram the fibroblasts so they can't be gripped. Instead, they surround the tumor and block its spread. That way, a tumor is easier to treat--and destroy.
"Ultimately we hope these findings could lead to better ways to control the disease--and save more lives,” said Nell Barr of the Cancer Research UK, a nonprofit that funds cancer research.
via EurekAlert! and Cancer Research UK