Researchers Discover Key to Lung Cancer's Spread "In a breakthrough in the understanding of how cancer spreads, researchers at the University of Virginia School of Medicine have identified a substance secreted by lung cancer cells that enables them to metastasize, beginning their deadly march to other sites in the body. By blocking that process in lab studies, the researchers were able to confine cancer cells to a single tumor site, offering hope that drugs could one day block the spread of cancers in people."
"We found that when you blocked Activin A expression, the cancer cells would grow, and they would form a primary tumor, but they wouldn’t metastasize," Mayo said. "We did protein analysis to see if Activin A protein was over-expressed in human lung cancer tissue samples, and the answer was yes. We believe this protein is expressed in many other types of cancer as well, including colon and breast cancer."