AANS Neurosurgeon | Volume 26, Number 3, 2017

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New Genes Discovered Regulating Brain Metastases in Lung Cancer Patients

Research from McMaster University has identified new regulators of brain metastases in patients with lung cancer.

These regulators are the genes called SPOCK1 and TWIST2.

“Brain metastases are a secondary brain tumour, which means they are caused by cancer cells that escape from primary tumours like lung, breast or melanoma, and travel to the brain,” said Mohini Singh, the study’s primary author and a PhD candidate in biochemistry at the Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine at McMaster.

“We set out to find which genes can regulate the cells that initiate brain metastases, which we’ve termed brain metastasis initiating cells or BMICs. In other words, what are the genes that are sending the signal to these lung BMICs to leave the lung tumour, go into the blood stream, invade the blood-brain barrier and form a tumour in the brain.”

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