Same Mutations Underpin Spread of Cancer in Individuals
Published:06 Sep.2018    Source:ScienceNews

 Most cancer-related deaths are caused by metastases, or secondary tumors in distant locations of the body that have spread away from the original, primary tumor. While primary tumors can often be surgically removed, metastatic tumors typically require treatment such as standard chemotherapy or targeted therapy. The success of such new targeted therapies depends on the presence of a specific mutation in all cancer cells, in particular in metastatic tumors.

 

Until now, most studies that aimed to decode the genetic variability, or heterogeneity, of cancers focused mainly on primary tumors. And while that information is still extremely valuable, it leaves much of the story untold; cancer cells are notorious for their ability to change, evolve and evade treatments, particularly as they spread in the body.