IMAGE: Ovarian cancer cells (red) can become trapped in sticky webs of DNA (green) released by immune cells known as neutrophils. view more
Credit: Lee et al., 2018
Researchers from the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center have discovered that ovarian cancer cells spread, or metastasize, to new tissue after being caught in DNA “webs” extruded by immune cells. The study, which will be published December 19 in the Journal of Experimental Medicine, reveals that preventing immune cells from forming these webs reduces metastasis in mice, suggesting that similar treatments could be used to limit the spread of ovarian cancer in humans.
Ovarian cancer is the fifth leading cause of cancer death in women. Advanced stages of the disease are typically characterized by the spread of cancer cells to the omentum, a fatty tissue that drapes from the stomach and is informally described as the “policeman of the abdomen” due to its role in housing immune cells that can fight off infections in the abdominal cavity. How and why ovarian cancer cells preferentially spread to this tissue is unclear.
A team of researchers led by Dr. Honami Naora at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center found
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