Colon cancer is one of the most-diagnosed cancer types worldwide with 1.3 million new diagnoses and 700,000 deaths as a result of the cancer every year.
Most of the deaths resulting from colon cancer occur because of metastasis, where the cancer spreads to other parts of the body. The University of Luxembourg recently published its research on colon cancer, with one major finding: researchers discovered that patients suffering from colon cancer have a molecular mechanism which is responsible for the cancer spreading and metastases forming.
Researchers compared primary tumours with metastases. The leader of the study on 'Molecular Disease Mechanisms', Elisabeth Letellier, explained that they found 'clusters' which have specific molecules and that these molecules could potentially be used as treatment against cancer, as they could slow down the growth of secondary tumours.
According to the university's official statement, the results of the study are but a small piece of the puzzle concerning cancer, but could help other researchers understand how tumours are created and more importantly, how to treat them. The researchers explained that currently, they are only at the beginning of understanding how metastases form. The study is one of many, but one that discovered these molecules, which could potentially prevent cancer.
To carry out research, the university collaborated with the hospitals in Luxembourg and built up a database containing data on 140 patients. Pit Ullmann, one of the researchers, explained that this focus group allowed the researchers to generate a cell culture to validate results on. Researchers would then be able to determine whether the results work for all their patients.
The study was supported by the national research fund (FNR) and Luxembourg's Fondation Cancer (cancer foundation). Cancer research has seen large amounts of progress in the last five to ten years. Letellier said the future of cancer treatment is combining therapies, as researchers had determined which therapies are the most effective.