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Tiny Feet Take Big Steps for Cancer Cells
The spread of cancer from one its initial outpost to someplace else in the body, called metastasis, is the most common reason cancer treatments fail. Some cancer cells rely on microscopic feet called invadopodia, which are projections on the cellular membrane that help the cells walk to surrounding tissues. Now researchers are reporting online in the July 26, 2011, issue of the journal Science Signaling that they have identified compounds that inhibit invadopodia formation without causing toxicity. The team also found a number of compounds that increased a cancer cells invadopodia.
Here, invadopodia (bright red dots) form on metastatic cancer cells.