Researchers prevent cancer spread by blocking tissue scarring
What to fear most if faced by a cancer diagnosis is the spread of the cancer to other parts of the body. This process called metastasis accounts for over 90% of cancer patient deaths and therefore is a strong focus for cancer researchers. Researchers at BRIC, University of Copenhagen have shown that the enzyme Lysyl Oxidase (LOX) can create a “scarred” microenvironment that enhances cancer spreading. By blocking activity of the LOX enzyme, the researchers succeeded in significantly decreasing metastasis in a model of breast cancer.
‘When we inhibit the activity of LOX in our cancer models, we show a dramatic reduction in metastasis. This suggests that therapeutic targeting of LOX can keep the tumour microenvironment “healthy” and thereby decrease metastasis, says Associate Professor Janine Erler from BRIC, who has headed the research.