Inflammation and Cancer Growth and Metastasis

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In a new study being published in the net edition of Cancer Cell researchers demonstrated that HRG (histidine-rich-glycoprotein), a protein that naturally occurs in the body will inhibit the growth and spread of cancer cells by activating specific immune cells. However, this process is dependent upon inflammatory cells which are caused by most cancers and may either stimulate the growth of tumors or inhibit them. This cancer caused inflammation consisting of tumor associated macrophages (TAM’s) that are either M2 macrophages that support cancer cell growth and moderate the body’s immune defense, or M1 macrophages that inhibit tumor growth by activating immune cells that are toxic to the tumors.

The researchers say “”HRG can transform inflammatory cells in the tumor from M2 macrophages, which promote tumor growth, to M1 macrophages, which inhibit tumor growth” and “M1 macrophages also inhibit the spread of tumor cells….”.

Studying 3 different types of tumors in mice they found the tumors producing HRG grew more slowly and did not spread. In the process the HRG caused M2 macrophages to transform into M1 macrophages. Further research is planned.

Additional information can be found at:
http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2011-01/uu-sci010511.php

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