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New pathway may explain link between alcohol, cancer spread.

Byline: ANI

Washington, Oct 27 (ANI): Scientists from Rush University Medical Center have identified a cellular pathway that might help explain the link between alcohol and cancer spread.

The study showed that alcohol stimulates what is called the epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition, in which run-of-the-mill cancer cells cells once believed to be peculiar to cancers, but now know to be epithelial cells differing in no respect from those found elsewhere in the body, and distinguished only by peculiarity of location and grouping.

See also: Cancer
 morph morph 1  
An allomorph.

[From morpheme.]

morph 2  
 into a more aggressive form and begin to spread throughout the body.

"Our data are the first to show that alcohol turns on certain signals inside a cell that are involved in this critical transition," said Dr Christopher Forsyth, assistant professor of medicine and biochemistry at Rush University Medical Center and lead author of the study.

"Cancer cells become dangerous when they metastasize me·tas·ta·size
To be transmitted or transferred by or as if by metastasis.

Spread of cells from the original site of the cancer to other parts of the body where secondary tumors are formed.
. Surgery can remove a tumor, but aggressive tumor cells invade tissues throughout the body and take over. If we can thwart this transition, we can limit cancer's toll," Forsyth added.

During the study, researchers treated colon and breast cancer cell lines with alcohol and then looked for the biochemical hallmarks of the epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition, including evidence of a transcription factor This article or section may be confusing or unclear for some readers.
Please [improve the article] or discuss this issue on the talk page.
 called Snail and of the receptor for epidermal growth factor Epidermal growth factor or EGF is a growth factor that plays an important role in the regulation of cell growth, proliferation and differentiation. Human EGF is a 6045 Da protein with 53 amino acid residues and three intramolecular disulfide bonds. .

Snail controls the epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition; when overexpressed in mice, it induces the formation of multiple tumors. Epidermal growth factor is required by many cancer cells.

It showed that alcohol activated both these and other biochemicals characteristic of the epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition.

The study also showed that the alcohol-treated cells had lost their tight junctions with adjacent cells, a preparation for migrating, as metastatic Metastatic
The term used to describe a secondary cancer, or one that has spread from one area of the body to another.

Mentioned in: Coagulation Disorders


pertaining to or of the nature of a metastasis.
 cells do.

The study is published in the current issue of Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research. (ANI)

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Publication:Asian News International
Date:Oct 28, 2009
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