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Investigating how breast cancer cells become able to spread around the body

  • Researcher: Professor Giorgio Scita
  • Institution: IFOM The FIRC Institute of Molecular Oncology Foundation, Milan, Italy
  • Award Amount: £186,036 for 3 years from January 2014
  • Cancer Type: Breast Cancer
Investigating how breast cancer cells become able to spread around the body
When tumours stay in one place they can be more easily treated with surgery and the patient has a higher chance of a good outcome. Cancer becomes more difficult to treat when the cancerous cells have started to spread away from the original tumour, invading blood vessels or the lymphatic system and migrating round the body where they start forming secondary tumours in other organs. It is often these secondary tumours that can kill the patient. If scientists can better understand how the cancer cells become physically able to break away from the original tumour and move, they could then find new and improved ways to stop it occurring. This is what Professor Giorgio Scita hopes to discover with his Worldwide Cancer Research grant. He is particularly focusing on a specific group of proteins and the role they play in the spread of breast cancer. If we could stop cancer tumours from spreading, the number of people surviving the disease will increase. This kind of research therefore has massive clinical implications for patients in the future.
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