Research team discovers drug compound that stops cancer cells from spreading
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IMAGE: This is Ryan Gordon, Ph.D., and Raymond Bergan, M.D., with members of their lab. view more 

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Credit: OHSU/Kristyna Wentz-Graff.

PORTLAND, Oregon – Fighting cancer means killing cancer cells. However, oncologists know that it’s also important to halt the movement of cancer cells before they spread throughout the body. New research, published today in the journal Nature Communications, shows that it may be possible to freeze cancer cells and kill them where they stand.

Raymond Bergan, M.D., Division Chief of Hematology and Medical Oncology and professor of medicine at OHSU, says that the majority of cancer treatment therapies today are directed toward killing cancer. To date, he says, no one has developed a therapy that can stop cancer cells from moving around the body.

“For the vast majority of cancer–breast, prostate, lung, colon, and others–if it is detected early when it is a little lump in that organ and it has not spread, you will live. And generally, if you find it late, after it has spread throughout your body, you will die,” says Bergan, also the associate director of medical oncology in the OHSU Knight Cancer Institute and director of the OHSU Bergan Basic Research Laboratory. “Movement is key: the difference is black

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