New research has shed light on a key molecule called IQGAP1 that can suppress growth of liver tumors by altering the micro-environment of cancer cells. The finding offers new insight into cancer metastasis, the ability of a tumour to spread from its primary site to distant organs such as the brain, lung or liver. The discovery paves the way to newer therapies for preventing or treating liver metastases, the major cause of death from cancer. "Tumour cells are intelligent - they talk to the cells in their surroundings to change the way they behave and make the environment supportive of cancer growth," said senior study author Ningling Kang, biochemist and molecular biologist at Mayo Clinic Cancer Centre, the Journal of Clinical Investigation reports. "If we can disrupt the communication between the tumour cells and the tumour micro-environment, we can prevent tumour growth or metastasis in the liver," Kang was quoted as saying in a Mayo Clinic statement. To study the effects of IQGAP1, which controls the shape and movement of cells, Kang and her colleagues implanted tumour cells into the livers of mice genetically engineered to lack the molecule. The implanted tumour cells still had the molecule, but the cells that made up the tumour microenvironment did not. When researchers compared the progression of cancer between mutant and normal mice, they found that mice without the molecule developed more liver metastases. Kang and colleagues showed that IQGAP1 interacts with and suppresses a powerful signalling molecule called TGF-beta receptor that tells normal cells that surround a tumour cell to become tumour-promoting cells.Source: IANS << Risky Sex Associated With Alcohol Binging Neuropathic Pain can be Eased by Deep Brain Stimulation >> Recommended Reading Alcoholic Liver Disease Encyclopedia section of medindia gives general information about Alcoholic Liver Disease. READ MORE Current Treatments for Liver Cancer Current Treatments for Liver Cancer (also known as hepatoma or hepatocellular carcinoma) can result in complete cure of the disease if it is detected early. READ MORE Fatty Liver Disease: A Growing Health Problem in India Non alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is the leading cause of liver dysfunction worldwide and is a rapidly growing health problem in India. READ MORE Hepatitis A Hepatitis A is the most benign of the hepatitis viruses and usually has no long term side effects. Hepatitis A vaccine is available that is 95% effective in preventing the disease. READ MORE Living Donor Liver Transplant: What Are the Risks? The risk of dying as a result of a living donor liver segment removal is between 0.2-2.0%. The risk of morbidity is anywhere between 1.3% (in highly experienced centers) to 60%. READ MORE Milk Thistle Milk Thistle is a resourceful natural plant which has many medicinal benefits. In herbal medication milk thistle is used in cases of liver diseases. READ MORE Wilson's Disease This is a rare inherited systemic disorder of copper metabolism, affecting the liver mainly before other organs. READ MORE Most Popular on Medindia Calculate Ideal Weight for Infants Post-Nasal Drip The Essence of Yoga More News on: Hepatitis ALiverWilson's DiseaseMilk ThistleCurrent Treatments for Liver CancerFatty Liver Disease: A Growing Health Problem in IndiaLiving Donor Liver Transplant: What Are the Risks?