One of cancer’s most frightening qualities is its ability to not only grow within one area, but to spread around the body. That spread causes nine out of 10 cancer-related deaths, Johns Hopkins University researchers say.
A new federally funded effort at JHU will focus on that exact component of cancer, known as metastasis. For at least the next five years, an oncology center will bring experts together from four universities around the country. They will assemble in Baltimore to examine the “physical underpinnings” of metastasis and create targeted treatments for the spread of cancer, said center director Professor Denis Wirtz in a release.
Specifically, they’ll look at how cells can go rogue within their home tumor and seemingly will themselves to get to blood vessels that lead to other parts of the body.
The NIH-based National Cancer Institute is supplying a $9 million grant for the effort. It will be based out of JHU’s Institute for NanoBioTechnology. A similar federally funded center operated at the school from 2009 to 2014 under Wirtz’s direction.
The new team of researchers is now hoping to pick up where the old center left off.
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