Lung cancer cells spread like unanchored tents, study says
Spreading lung cancer cells are like tents which have collapsed and are adrift in the wind, scientists from the University of York have discovered.
Communication between two proteins is what triggers the cell tent to lose its shape and become unanchored, their research found.
This allows the cells to travel to other areas of the body.
The researchers said their findings could help prevent the spread of lung cancer.
Writing in the Journal of Clinical Investigation, researchers from York and the University of Texas describe how the communications centre of a cell - known as the Golgi apparatus - receives a signal from proteins which prompts the movement of membrane sacks inside it.
This movement alters the shape and surface of the cancer cell, allowing it to break free from its moorings and move around freely.