Inspiring Science

Histopathologic image of small cell carcinoma of the lung. CT-guided core needle biopsy. (Image credit: Wikipedia)A team of researchers in the UK have discovered how the absence of a single gene makes it easier for tumour cells to migrate more freely in lung cancer patients. More people suffer  — and die — from lung cancer than any other kind.  Small cell lung cancer (SCLC) is an extremely aggressive form of lung cancer thanks to its tendency to metastasise quickly, spreading to other organs early. In order to migrate, metastasising tumour cells have to break free of the extracellular matrix (ECM), the network of material around our cells which supports them and binds them to each other. That’s where this particular gene, Fam38A, comes into the story.

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