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Renegade cancer cells escape from virtually every tumor, but only rare cells from certain tumor types survive, grow and spread (metastasize) to other parts of the body. In the case of bone cancer, this metastasis leads to death for virtually every patient. Researchers do not fully understand how bone cancer cells spread from the primary site in the bone to the lungs, but recent work suggests that the tumors send out small bags of cargo (vesicles) and cell fragments into the bloodstream. These vesicles carry biologically active genes and proteins, and when they reach the lungs, they prepare and help make this site welcoming for the renegade tumor cells. Researchers hope to find markers in the blood circulation that will help them understand why and how the tumor spreads. Their findings may be used to develop treatments to help prevent osteosarcoma metastasis in dogs.

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University of Minnesota
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United States
Jaime F. Modiano, VMD, PhD
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