Metastasis in Ovarian Cancer Traced to Newly Discovered Signaling Pathway

Metastasis in Ovarian Cancer Traced to Newly Discovered Signaling Pathway
Researchers at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL) published findings that highlight the discovery of a new cancer signaling pathway that may prove useful in the efforts to prevent metastasis in ovarian cancer (OC). The study, “HGF-independent regulation of MET and GAB1 by nonreceptor tyrosine kinase FER potentiates metastasis in ovarian cancer,” was published in the latest edition of the journal Genes and Development.

About this study

In an effort to better understanding the pathophysiology involved in OC metastasis, the researchers utilized OC cell lines, which are developed from a single cell so they have the same genetic make-up and grown in artificial environments, such as the laboratory. Using the cell lines, they discovered that a specific protein — known as non-receptor tyrosine kinase feline sarcoma-related (FER) — played an important role in metastasis.  FER was shown to be elevated in OC cells in comparison to cells that were not oncogenic. Also, when researchers suppressed the levels of FER in the OC cell lines, they found that the invasiveness and mobility of these cells slowed, and in some cases were minimized. These results led researchers to conclude that this was a newly discovered pathway upon which OC metastasis takes place, and that it may indeed be a therapeutic target, possibly in combination with other chemotherapy agents, to prevent a
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Kara Elam is currently working on her Doctorate in Health Policy. She holds Master Degrees in both epidemiology and microbiology. Her research interests include emerging viral diseases, the intersection of human rights and intellectual property rights, and ending violence against women.

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