Scientists Find “Switch” That Releases Cancer Cells Throughout the Body

In a remarkable discovery with transformative implications for humans, researchers have discovered and detailed the process by which a protein serves as the switch for releasing cancer cells throughout a body from an original cancer site. The protein called disabled-2 (Dab2) is critical to many of the most common and deadly forms of cancer, including breast and colon cancer.


The scientists have added details in the understanding of the process called epithelial-mesenchymal transdifferientiation (EMT). Dr. Ge Jin, who has joint appointments at the Case Western Reserve University School of Dental Medicine and the Lerner Research Institute at the Cleveland Clinic, discovered that when the researchers knocked out Dab2, EMT was not triggered.

That has obviously amazing potentialities for cancer treatments.

For the full story, click here.

11 thoughts on “Scientists Find “Switch” That Releases Cancer Cells Throughout the Body”

  1. FDA does have a “fast track” for promising treatments with great potential to save lives. Please try to know what you’re talking about before you post.

  2. I understand that there are many such switches.

    One is allegedly sugar (white, refinded) if I recall correctly.

  3. I’m not saying that this isn’t an important advance, but it isn’t big news because it’s one of many similar advances in understanding cancer. Together, this improved understanding will someday lead to a very significant reduction in cancer suffering and death, I hope. But progress in this field is slow, and news like this, reported in this way can really play on the emotions of people who have cancer and their families and friends.

    A similar situation was the advances in understanding angiogenesis – that’s the process by which blood vessels grow in new tissue. These advances were very similar – discoveries related to growth factors that control angiogenesis. In aggressive, fast-growing tumors, angiogenesis is rapid, and critical to the tumor and it’s growth. It is hoped that blocking angiogenesis in tumors will slow or stop the spread of cancer by starving the cancerous cells of blood supply. But announcements of advances in understanding angiogenesis were made several years ago, and development is underway in therapies that make use of this understanding, but those therapies are a long ways off for the vast majority of people who have cancer.

  4. If I’m reading this right (and it’s being reported right), this will probably lead to a way to keep cancer from spreading metastasizing. That is fantastic for people with highly malignant cancer, and would cause a huge decrease in the mortality rate.

    Science is great.

  5. rafflaw:

    good luck with that the FDA will take 10 years to approve it. And the American Cancer Society, Big Pharma and Oncologists everywhere will poo poo it.

  6. This should be the lead story on every newscast today. What a discovery! The information garnered here could be the beginning of saving countless lives. I hope the scientists can proceed quickly from this point to devise drug therapies that can prevent the tragic loss of so many lives before their times.

  7. AY

    From the article:

    “If we can understand the signaling pathway for modulating EMT, then we can design drugs to delay or halt EMT cells and control tumor progression,” Jin said.

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