Scientists have discovered a new way to target cancer through manipulating a master switch responsible for cancer cell growth. The findings, published in the journal Cancer Cell, reveal how cancer cells grow faster by producing their own blood vessels.
Cancer cells gain the nutrients they need by producing proteins that make blood vessels grow, helping deliver oxygen and sugars to the tumour. These proteins are vascular growth factors like VEGF – the target for the anti-cancer drug Avastin. Making these proteins requires the slotting together of different parts of genes, a process called splicing.