How do cancer cells spread - and how can we stop them?
Professor Margaret Frame and her team at University of Edinburgh are tackling one of the biggest challenges in cancer treatment - how to stop the disease spreading to other parts of the body. The researchers are investigating how cancer cells break away from a tumour and start moving, to find out how this process could be stopped.
Cells on the move
Professor Frame is internationally recognised for her groundbreaking research on two 'messenger' proteins called Src and FAK, which play important roles in cell movement and are implicated in cancer spread. These proteins are overactive in cancer cells, sending too many messages that encourage the cells to move and spread.
Professor Frame's team are studying how Src and FAK work in healthy cells and in cancer. They are investigating how signals from these proteins make cells stick to each other or break apart, and how they become overactive in cancer.
Stopping cancer in its tracks
By understanding how these overactive proteins control the movement and spread of cancer cells, Professor Frame and her team hope to discover new ways to target cancer cells and develop new drugs to treat the disease.
Finding ways to block the messages coming from Src and FAK could halt the spread of cancer, providing powerful ways to treat the disease in the future.
Visit MyProjects to donate directly to Professor Frame's research.
Other research projects by Margaret Frame
Funding period: 01 January 2008 to 30 April 2013
Funding period: 01 March 2010 to 28 February 2013
Quantitative In vivo Imaging of the Effects of Inhibiting Integrin Signaling via Src and FAK on Cancer Cell Movement: Effects on E-cadherin Dynamics
Cancer Res.2010;70 :9413-9422
beta 1-integrin is dispensable for the induction of ErbB2 mammary tumors but plays a critical role in the metastatic phase of tumor progression
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A.2010;107 :15559-15564