Scientists have identified a protein that enables the spread of tumours by binding cancer cells together and allowing them to invade tissues, paving the way for new therapies to treat the deadly disease.
The groundbreaking study identified a protein, known as cadherin-22, as a potential factor in cancer metastasis, or spreading.
It decreases the adhesion and invasion rate of breast and brain cancer cells by up to 90 per cent.
"Cadherin-22 could be a powerful prognostic marker for advanced cancer stages and patient outcomes," said Jim Uniacke, from the University of Guelph in.
The study, published in the journal Oncogene, looked specifically at hypoxia – low-oxygen conditions – in tumours.