Cancer brings together a group of diseases with a very different origin. However, the high mortality rate associated with this has a common denominator: metastasis. This corresponds to the spread of tumor cells from one tissue to another, process that is quite complex and still poorly understood. At the cellular level, two events are crucial in themetastasis of cancer cells: migration or cell movement and the ability of these cells to invade and destroy other tissue.Equipo-Laboratorio

It is precisely in this field who ventured a research group of the University of Chile belonging to the Advanced Center for chronic diseases (ACCDIS). Headed by the Professor of the Faculty of dentistry Vicente Torres, identificaron one of the molecules involved in the metastasis of tumor cells: the 5 "Rab".

This protein is in normal and tumor cells, but this last is out of control. We ask why and what we found is that in tumors that are subject to a strong stress condition due to the lack of nutrients and oxygen, does that go to grow. This condition of stress makes out of this protein and tumor cell becomes more aggressive and more metastatic”, explained Professor Torresabout how operates the protein found in previous research conducted by the at the University of California and which today are working in the University of Chile.

What this team discovered recently is that to remove this molecule for tumor cells from molecular biology techniques, "we saw that the cell stops moving, migrate and invade, and less metastasizes".

cell-tumor-migratingOn the projections of this research, the academic is clear in stating that it is a first but important step in this area, which has been worked at the cellular level in the laboratory. Even so, It is possible to see two lines of action thanks to these advances. A, in what is known as molecular markers. "If you suspect that a fabric looks strange in a patient, "the doctor may extract a biopsy and analyse proteins and whether or not it alters", the academic explained, adding that this information can be used for a potential diagnosis.

This finding, In addition, represents a step forward in the creation of medical treatments from drugs "that will attack this protein, generating a benefit in the patient, prolonging survival and decreasing the incidence of metastasis".

These advances have been published recently in the prestigious journal Oncotarget.