Enzyme Reduces Cancer Spread

Researchers have identified a protein trigger for tumor inflammation. Chronic inflammation is known to help tumors to grow and spread. By inhibiting this particular protein, scientists were able to decrease tumor growth and stop cancer progression in mice. The presence of cancer cells in the body often stimulates an immune response. This response can be beneficial but it often results in the accumulation of myeloid immune cells around the cancerous tumor. Scientists have long appreciated that cancer cells use these myeloid cells to help tumors grow and spread but exactly how this happens is not fully understood. Scientists have identified a number of molecules produced by cancer tumors which are responsible for attracting the myeloid cells. They discovered that by blocking an enzyme called PI-3 kinase gamma on the myeloid cells they prevent these cells from entering tumors. Blocking this enzyme reduced tumor growth and so has potential therapeutic value. - Cancer cell, DOI: doi:10.1016/j.ccr.2011.04.016, 14 Jun 11