Researchers have identified that other than clogging the arteries, LDL can also promote metastatic cancer cells, which break away from the parent tumor, to reattach at distant site.
In a world-first, University of Sydney researchers have discovered one of the main reasons behind why cancer spreads throughout the body - the help of 'bad' cholesterol.
Published in top international journal,
, the research found 'bad'
(Low Density Lipoprotein, or LDL) regulates the machinery that controls cell migration, a major finding in the search to explain why cancer spreads throughout the body.
Paper senior author, Associate Professor Thomas Grewal from the University's Faculty of Pharmacy, said the research had important implications for cancer research.
"One of the things that makes cancer so difficult to treat is the fact that it can spread around the body," he said.
"Most of the cells in our bodies stick to neighbouring cells through the help of 'Velcro-like' molecules on their surface known as integrins. Unfortunately, integrins also help cancer cells that have broken away from a cancerous tumour to take root elsewhere in the body.
"Our study identified that 'bad' (LDL) cholesterol controls the trafficking of tiny vessels which also contain these integrins, and this has huge effects on the ability of cancer cells to move and spread throughout the body.
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