News of the WeekCancer Research

New Insights Into Metastasis

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Science  12 Oct 2001:
Vol. 294, Issue 5541, pp. 281-282
DOI: 10.1126/science.294.5541.281a

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Summary

Results published online today by Science (www.sciencexpress.org) pinpoint a genetic change that may help colon cancer cells metastasize to the liver--information that could help researchers develop drugs to stanch the invasion. The work shows that a tyrosine phosphatase enzyme called PRL-3 is expressed at higher levels in colon cancer cells that have metastasized to the liver than in nonmetastatic colon tumors and normal colon epithelial cells. The finding suggests that an excess of the enzyme, which may normally help control cellular activities, somehow fosters the spread of colon cancer to the liver, its principal site of metastasis.