Researchers discover mechanism responsible for spreading colon cancer — 5 insights

Luxembourg City, Luxembourg-based University of Luxembourg researchers discovered the mechanism they believe is responsible for the spread of colon cancer cells and metastasis development.

Here's what you should know:

1. Researchers believe the findings could help develop tumor-inhibiting treatments.

2. A small group of molecules, miR-371 to 373 cluster, regulates colon cancer metastasis.

3. Researchers observed the cluster in experimental and computational analyses. They found the cluster is deactivated in a specific population of aggressive, fast-growing cancer cells. After they reactivated the cluster, metastatic cell growth slowed significantly.

4. The researchers validated their results in patient samples from a large Luxembourgish colon cancer collection.

5. Lead study author Pit Ullmann, PhD, said, "Cancer is a really complex disease. While our results are just one piece of the puzzle, they clearly contribute to a better understanding of tumor initiation and metastasis and might be an important first step for the development of novel therapeutic strategies."

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