PerspectiveCANCER

Harmful networks in the brain and beyond

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Science  09 Mar 2018:
Vol. 359, Issue 6380, pp. 1100-1101
DOI: 10.1126/science.aar5555

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Summary

Communication in networks is the basis of many social and biological functions. Recent findings have added an uncomfortable twist to this view: Tumors can function as communicating networks, too. In several malignancies such as incurable brain tumors, long protrusions extend from cancer cells, connecting them to a functional syncytium and colonizing normal tissue. These invasive and network-building membrane tubes raise interesting questions about cancer biology.