Metastatic Cancer: The Migration of Cancerous Cells
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Migration is a movement from one place to another and it occurs in every aspect of life. Migration is not bound by size. In a biological sense, it can be macroscopic with the seasonal movements of an animal species, or microscopic at the cellular level of an individual organism. Most migrations that occur at the cellular level of an organism are required for health and survival. However, some rare migrations can have adverse and even deadly effects. One example of this type of migration is in cancer. When these migrations occur, the cancer becomes metastatic; the malignant cell migrates from its origin to another location in the body. This occurs due to a process called EMT, or Epithelial Mesenchymal Transition. At the point EMT occurs the immune system process have to come to the Escape stage of immunoediting, where instead of fighting the malignant cells, the immune system supports their growth and transition. If an individual's cancer has reached a metastatic level, it is very hard to fight the cancer. Cancer is the second leading cause of deaths after heart disease. Fortunately, a lot of research has been going into curing cancer with some promising results. Since every cancer is unique and complicated, most treatments are unique to each patient. If a patient has metastatic cancer the theoretical course of treatment would be to use chemo and radiotherapy to kill metastatic cells and reduce the size of the parent tumor. The poster presentation will look into new studies that focus on gene therapy such as down regulating certain oncogenes and upregulating others, as well as therapies that stop the migration of the malignant cells. Such therapies would look at ways to reverse EMT to MET (mesenchymal to epithelial transition). Would targeting CHD5 and/or its family of proteins such as SUV39H1 or SIRT halt the metastatic process?