Researchers in the USA have identified a gene that plays a key role in slowing the movement of lung cancer to other parts of the body.
The study, published in the journal Molecular Cell, aimed to shed light on why lung cancer can spread throughout the body, a process that often happens very quickly.
The researchers investigated a known anti-cancer gene called LKB1. Around one fifth of people with lung cancer are missing this gene, and as a result experience particularly aggressive forms of the disease.
In their study, the researchers discovered that LKB1 communicates with another gene, DIXDC1.
When “switched on”, DIXDC1 causes tumour cells to stick to each other. However, when it is inactive the cells can break away and travel to other parts of the body where they embed themselves and can cause other tumours.
The researchers believe that this finding could pave the way for new lung cancer treatments.
Learn about the factors that can cause lung disease and the ways to reduce your contact with them.
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