In a study published in Cancers, Emil Lou, MD, PhD, FACP, Assistant Professor of Medicine, Division of Hematology, Oncology and Transplantation, University of Minnesota Medical School, and his research team demonstrated that proteins derived from the oncogene KRAS have the ability to transfer between colon cancer cells via long cellular skyway-like extensions called ‘tunneling nanotubes’. 

“Most aggressive metastatic colon tumors in patients will develop drug resistance. It’s not a matter of ‘if’, but a matter of ‘when’ for most patients, and that’s a big challenge in this field,” said Dr. Lou. “We speculate that cutting off the line of communication for transfer of vital signals might be a novel therapeutic strategy in addition to standard-of-care chemotherapy.”

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