Once it has spread beyond the ovaries, it is more challenging to treat and can be fatal.
During metastasis, ovarian tumor cells detach from the primary tumor site and migrate to the abdominal cavity, where their survival is supported by white blood cells known as tumor-associated macrophages.
In a recent study, senior author and Yale pathology professor Wang Min demonstrated that the tumors release substances called cytokines to attract macrophages, which then secrete growth factors that promote tumor cell growth and proliferation. The study reveals a mechanism that provides researchers with a promising target for treating ovarian and other metastatic cancers.
The study is published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation.