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Medical News and Perspectives
May 26, 2004

Studies Show Tissues Surrounding Tumors Have a Role in Cancer Progression

JAMA. 2004;291(20):2417-2419. doi:10.1001/jama.291.20.2417

For years, researchers have been striving to unravel the detailed mysteries of how healthy cells become cancerous. They continue to catalog numerous DNA mutations in tumor cells that cause abnormal protein production, accelerated cell growth, and a blatant disregard of normal cell-death pathways.

While these elements are clearly key steps in the progression from normalcy to malignancy, it is becoming obvious that events occurring in the tissues surrounding cancer cells play major roles as well. Recent work by several research groups is uncovering intriguing evidence that a cancer cell's so-called microenvironment is determining its tumorigenic potential.

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