Jump to navigation Jump to main content

The secret of lymph: How lymph nodes help cancer cells spread

Lymph node
A Children’s Medical Center Research Institute at UT Southwestern study found that melanoma cells (above) pass through the lymph nodes and pick up a protective coating, allowing them to survive high levels of oxidative stress and go on to form distant tumors.

For decades, physicians have known that many kinds of cancer cells often spread first to lymph nodes before traveling to distant organs through the bloodstream. New research from Children’s Medical Center Research Institute at UT Southwestern (CRI) provides insight into why this occurs, opening up new targets for treatments that could inhibit the spread of cancer.

The study, published in Nature, found melanoma cells that pass through the lymph nodes pick up a protective coating, allowing them to survive high levels of oxidative stress in the blood and go on to form distant tumors.

Visit the UT Southwestern Newsroom to read the full story.

Back-to top