Korean scientists at the Institute of Basic Science have recently discovered how tumor cells survive and grow in lymph nodes.
According to the scientists, fatty acids play a key role in allowing tumor cells to grow in lymph nodes.
They figured out the cancer cells absorb energy from fatty acids inside lymph nodes to grow and survive.
Lymph nodes are tiny structures that could be found pretty much everywhere in our body.
They contain immune cells, including white blood cells that chase and destroy harmful particles or germs that penetrate inside the body.
The scientists call this a breakthrough, since prior to this discovery, the way how tumor cells grow in lymph nodes and eventually migrate and colonize other organs was not fully understood.
"It was perceived that glucose was the main source for tumor cells to strive and growbut thanks to the new study, we found out for the first time that fatty acids contribute to the growth and survival of the cells in lymph nodes."
The scientists saw the metastasis of cancer in lymph nodes slow down through animal testing.
They injected drugs into cancer cells from rats diagnosed with malignant melanoma and breast cancerto restrict them from absorbing fatty acids in lymph nodes.
The researchers said their next step is to conduct further research on fatty acids to develop new medicines that can fend off different types of cancer.
Cho Sung-min, Arirang News.