Global Cancer News

Breast cancer metastasis: Immune cells called PoEMs promote spread of cancer cells


When breast cancer cells spread through the body, they do so mainly through the lymph system that normally removes excess fluid and waste products from our tissues. Now, scientists from the group of Professor Massimiliano Mazzone (VIB-KU Leuven Center for Cancer Biology) identified a novel subset of immune cells, called Podoplanin-expressing macrophages (PoEMs), that change the tissues near a tumor in a way that promotes the spreading of cancer cells. Getting rid of these PoEMs in a mouse model strongly reduced the ability of breast cancer cells to move to other parts of the body.


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