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Article: "New Warning Sign for Breast Cancer”

August 5, 2021


A team led by Tel Aviv University Prof. Neta Erez (pictured) has identified a new indicator of metastatic breast cancer, also known as Stage 4 breast cancer, which occurs when cancer has spread, or “metastasized,” to other parts of the body. Mortality from breast cancer is nearly exclusively the result of tumor metastasis, typically in the lungs or brain, that can occur several years after initial treatment and recovery. This makes the identification and diagnosis of metastases not only exceedingly important, but also difficult for doctors to see coming.

The study found that certain tissues called fibroblasts “prepare the area” to create a hospitable environment for the tumors. “In a normal situation, fibroblasts play a central role in healing wounds and injury to the lungs, but recent studies revealed that cancer is successful in recruiting them and causing them to produce a supportive environment for it,” said Erez. By keying on these changes before the metastases are too large to treat, doctors could know when and where cancer will appear before it does, laying the groundwork for preventative treatment that could save millions of lives.

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*Image used is from the original news article published by Tel Aviv University News. Prof. Neta Erez. Photo: Michal Kidron.

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