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"Scientists have found a way of preventing the spread of cancer from the site of the original tumour," The Independent reports. Targeting proteins called DNA-PKcs could prevent cancer cells moving to other parts of the body. This is known as metastatic cancer and is often fatal.
The research involved mice as well as tissue samples from more than 200 prostate cancer patients. Researchers found mice treated with an inhibitor to block DNA-PKcs had reduced cancer spread compared with mice that were not treated.
Patients whose prostate cancer tissue samples showed higher DNA-PKcs levels were more likely to have had cancer progression (metastasis). As yet we do not know if a DNA-PKcs inhibitor would have the same outcome in humans as it did in mice.
This research furthers our knowledge about the biology of cancer progression and has identified another possible way to tackle the spread of cancer. Further investigation in humans would be required to confirm whether these findings are of use for improving outcomes for prostate cancer patients.
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