Professor David Knecht: ‘Breadcrumb trail’ of fatty acid drives aggressive spread of melanoma.

Melanoma is an unusually aggressive cancer which spreads or metastasizes very quickly early in the tumor development. The driver of this spread away from the primary tumor has not been well understood. Now results of a new study have shown that melanoma cells follow a ‘breadcrumb trail’ of a fatty serum component called lysophosphatidic acid (LPA).

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Andrew J. Muinonen-Martin, Olivia Susanto, Qifeng Zhang, Elizabeth Smethurst, William J. Faller, Douwe M. Veltman, Gabriela Kalna, Colin Lindsay, Dorothy C. Bennett, Owen J. Sansom, Robert Herd, Robert Jones, Laura M. Machesky, Michael J. O. Wakelam, David A. Knecht, Robert H. Insall (2014) Melanoma Cells Break Down LPA to Establish Local Gradients That Drive Chemotactic Dispersal. PLoS Biology. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pbio.1001966

The Guardian article.