Researchers at the University of Manchester have found that melanoma cells can behave differently, some melanoma cells are fast growing but are poor at invading surrounding tissue, other melanoma cells are slow growing but are good at invading surrounding tissues. It was found that in a melanoma tumour, the fast growing cells piggyback along with the more invasive cells to be more effective in creating a new tumour once the cells had reached a different location within the body.
“We used to think that cancer cells spread by first specialising in invading other parts of the body and then change in order to grow rapidly. But this research shows that melanoma can spread by ‘co-operative invasion’.
“Different types of cancer cells with different strengths and weaknesses are both present in the tumour at the same time and can work together to spread faster and more efficiently. This has profound implications for how we find cures for this terrible disease.”
Study author Claudia Wellbrock
This type of research is vital to understanding how melanoma spreads throughout the body, which in turn helps lead the way into drug research into how it’s spread can be controlled.
Source: The Australian