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  • Posted: 02/01/2013
NCI Cancer Center News

Mass General study finds transition in cell type parallels treatment response, disease progression in breast cancer

A process that normally occurs in developing embryos – the changing of one basic cell type into another – has also been suspected of playing a role in cancer metastasis. Now a study from researchers at the Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center, a component of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, has associated this process, called epithelial-mesenchymal transition or EMT, with disease progression and treatment response in breast cancer patients. The report also identifies underlying mechanisms that someday may become therapeutic targets.

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NCI comprehensive cancer centers logoAmong the research institutions NCI funds across the United States, it currently designates 67 as Cancer Centers. Largely based in research universities, these facilities are home to many of the NCI-supported scientists who conduct a wide range of intense, laboratory research into cancer’s origins and development. The Cancer Centers Program also focuses on trans-disciplinary research, including population science and clinical research. The centers’ research results are often at the forefront of studies in the cancer field.