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Finnish find throws new light on cancer

Researchers from the University of Turku and the VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland have found a new type of mechanism in cancer cells preventing the spread and growth of cancer. This Finnish discovery overturns the previously established belief that different mechanisms governed the mobility and growth of such cells.

Syöpäsoluja mikroskooppikuvassa.
Syöpäsolu ottaa jalat alleen ja irrottautuu muusta kasvaimesta. Image: Turun yliopisto

The characteristics of cancel cells include uncontrollable growth and the ability to spread through the organism. The researchers’ findings now link together the regulation of these two deadly traits.

Professor Johanna Ivaska from the University of Turku, who led the research group, says the discovery can help in developing more effective cancer medicine.

“There are already many targeted drugs in use nowadays. Each of those medicines is based on the cell biology understanding of how cancer cells behave. This new find of ours opens up an entirely new understanding of the way both the growth and the mobility of cancer cells is limited by the same agents. If it would be possible to target those agents through medicine, they would be good drug targets,” explains Ivaska.

This Finnish discovery has aroused international interest. The find was published in the highly respected Journal of Cell Biology on Monday, July 25.

However, at this stage it is difficult to estimate the significance of this breakthrough.

“Each new find opens entirely different perspectives on science. In truth, only history can let a researcher know which finds opened up whole new fields and which were but milestones along the road,” Ivaska says.

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