A new way to control cancer development has been developed by scientists; thus providing a new hope for survival to scores of people infected by the disease.
Lawson Health Research Institute's Dr. John Lewis, Dr. Ann Chambers, and colleagues discovered that maspin, a cellular protein, could reduce the growth and spread of cancer cells, but only when it is in the nucleus.
To assess the effects of maspin on tumour growth and development, the team tested two aggressive cancers: a highly invasive head and neck cancer, and a breast cancer known to spread to the lymph nodes and the lungs.
They introduced two forms of maspin into the cancer cells, one that went into the nucleus and one that was blocked from the nucleus.
Then they injected the cells into both chicken embryo and mouse models of cancer.
When maspin was allowed to get into the nucleus of the cancer cells, the disease's ability to spread was significantly limited.
In fact, the incidence of metastasis was lowered from 75percent to 40percent.
When maspin was not established in the nucleus; however, this ability was reversed and cancer cells were far more likely to spread.
"We can now clearly see that maspin is working in the nucleus to dramatically reduce both the extent and the size of distant metastases," said Dr. Lewis.
The finding was released in Laboratory Investigation.