ONE OF THE MOST pressing issues facing cancer patients, doctors and researchers today is how to stop the spread of cancer.
The spread of cancer cells from their original site to other parts of the body is a major cause of cancer death and yet it remains one of the least understood pieces of the cancer puzzle.
Canadian Cancer Society-funded researcher Dr. Ian Chin-Sang at Queen’s University in Kingston hopes that by studying a simple animal, he can help solve this complex problem in humans.
Dr. Chin-Sang is researching how cells move inside a tiny, microscopic worm to identify what genes and cellular signals are involved when cancer cells invade neighbouring tissue and distant organs.
"Many of the genes involved in cell movements in worms and humans are the same – in that way we're all related," explains Dr. Chin-Sang. "Therefore, if we can understand how this gene functions in this worm, we have a better chance of understanding how it functions in humans."
Ultimately, he hopes his research will provide essential information for better diagnosis, treatment and even prevention of cancer, such as developing new therapies that stop cancer in its tracks.