Korean team develops substance that blocks spread of cancer

A team of South Korean scientists has developed a new substance that helps track and even prevent the spread of cancer cells from a primary tumor to adjacent organs, the science ministry said Thursday.

The team, led by Prof. Lee Seong-wook of Dankook University, has developed an RNA aptamer that binds to colorectal cancer cells in a peculiar way that makes the cancer cells easily identifiable, according to the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology.

Easily detectable cancer cells in turn make it possible to track the metastasis or spread of colon cancer cells to the liver, which occurs in as many as seven out of every 10 patients.

“Up until now it was only believed colorectal cancer cells metastasized to the liver when there is an over-expression of carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA), but how CEA affects hepatic metastasis has never been identified, making it impossible to develop a substance that can effectively prevent hepatic metastasis of cancer cells,” the ministry said in a press release.

For full article see Yonhap News.