Researchers identify a protein that keeps metastatic breast cancer cells dormant

The time needed for breast cancer metastases (secondary lesions caused by cells that have escaped from the original tumour) to develop varies between patients, and little is known about the mechanisms that govern latency (the dormant state of cells that have already spread through the body). A study headed by ICREA researcher Roger Gomis at the Institute for Research in Biomedicine (IRB Barcelona) has identified the genes involved in the latent asymptomatic state of breast cancer metastases. The work sheds light on the molecular basis underlying how the expression of certain genes facilitates the spread of metastatic lesions. Dr. Aleix Prat, Head of the Clinical Oncology Department at Hospital Clínic and of the Translational genomics and targeted therapeutics in solid tumors research team at IDIBAPS, has participated in this study.