New Gene Discovered with Lung Cancer Metastasis
According to the National Cancer Institute, 157,300 people died last year (2010) owing to lung cancer in the United States. The spreading of the malignant cancer tumor cells to the fresh parts of the body is responsible for 90 percent of the deaths. The event is technically known as metastasis.
Now, researchers from the MIT have found a gene which is responsible for the metastasis of the cancer in the lungs. The results of their study are published in the April 6 2011 online issue of the journal Nature.
In the initial stage, the researchers carried out their study on experimental mice. The results of this study were compared with the cases in humans. It was found that in both the cases, reduced activity of the gene NKX2-1 is responsible for causing deaths in patients by lung metastasis.
In normal conditions, this gene is associated with the well being of the organs like the lungs, thyroid and certain portions of the brain. When the gene turns mutant, it aids in spreading the rogue cells of these organs to new locations of the body leading to cancer metastasis.