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How can prostate cancer spread to other organs?

  • Researcher: Professor Anne Ridley
  • Institution: King's College London
  • Award Amount: £212,082 for 3 years from September 2011
  • Cancer Type: Prostate Cancer
How can prostate cancer spread to other organs?
One of the main factors that make tumours so dangerous is their ability to invade into surrounding tissues and organs and spread throughout the body. Individual cancer cells squeeze between the normal cells nearby and push their way through the tissue. They are then carried in the blood stream and can form new tumours in other parts of the body. The ability of prostate cancer cells to move and spread is controlled by many different proteins, including one called Met and a group called Rho GTPases. These proteins are usually tightly controlled but can become unregulated in cancer. With her Worldwide Cancer Research grant Professor Ridley is analysing how the Rho GTPases interact with the Met protein to allow the cancer cells to spread. She also hopes to identify other proteins that may be involved. This could lead to the design of new treatments in the future.
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