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Researchers discover cell communication mechanism that drives cancer adaptation

Researchers discover cell communication mechanism that drives cancer adaptation

Collaborative Cancer Research UK-funded studies from University of Oxford researchers have uncovered a new mechanism by which cancer cells adapt to the stresses they encounter as they grow and respond to therapies. This mechanism involves cells releasing small vesicles, known as exosomes. These contain complex mixtures of proteins, RNAs and other molecules, which can re-programme surrounding cells. Exosomes are thought to be released by all cells within the body, and play important roles in many processes in healthy individuals such as immunity and reproduction. But, in cancer they can turn bad and drive pathological changes such as tumour growth and metastasis.