A new study in Cancer Cell suggests the LKB1 gene could help keep melanoma cells from becoming metastatic, reports HealthDay News. When researchers from the University of North Carolina's Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center inactivated LKB1 in both human and mouse tumors, non-aggressive melanoma cells became highly metastatic, HealthDay says. Inactivation also played a role in lung metastasis, but not as dramatically as in melanoma, HealthDay adds. "Although we are not totally certain how LKB1 loss promotes metastasis in multiple cancer types, one important effect is the loss of LKB1 starts a chain reaction, activating a family of proteins called SRC kinases, which are known to drive metastasis," said study leader Norman Sharpless in a press release. "Loss of LKB1 occurs in about 30 percent of lung cancer and 10 percent of melanoma. ... These data suggest LKB1-deficient cancers will be more likely to metastasize, and therefore more likely to be incurable."
Jun 12, 2012