At the University of Basel, a mechanism has been deciphered that puts some cancer cells into hibernation and prevents metastases. Now hope for treatments is growing.
Scientists in Basel have discovered an approach to counteracting the development of metastases, the University of Basel wrote in a communication. It is related to cancer cells that have left the original tumor and spread throughout the body. “Individual cancer cells migrate from the tumor to other tissues in the body, where they also survive chemotherapy in a kind of hibernation,” the statement explains. However, this hibernation is prone to failure, and cancer cells can wake up again after several years. In the case of breast cancer, about every fourth patient has what’s called a metastatic relapse, and 90 percent die at some point from metastasis. If these cells could be better forced into hibernation, such scenarios could be avoided.