Cancer, A Wound That Doesn't Heal

Wound healing and cancer progression have striking similarities, including the growth of new blood vessels (angiogenesis), the rearrangement of the molecular matrix around the cells, and changes in how cells attach to each other.

Finding: The molecular programs in normal wound healing and those in tumor progression and metastasis were found to be similar.

Comment: This is an interesting and important concept. The genetic programs activated within cells in the healing of a wound may also contribute to the ability of tumor cells for invasion and metastasis (spread).

Barbara K. Hecht, Ph.D.
Frederick Hecht, M.D.
Medical Editors,

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STANFORD, Calif.-- Genes that help wounds heal are most often the "good guys," but a new study paints them as the enemy in some types of cancer. Researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine have found that some tumors activate these wound-healing genes and, when they do, the tumors are more likely to spread. This work could help highlight new ways to treat the disease along with helping doctors decide which cancers to approach more aggressively.

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