A study reveals that lung cancer could alter the biochemical process to assist in making healthy tissue sick and develop fatal tumors.
Early-stage lung cancer tumors seek macrophages, white blood cells that maintain the immune system and restore tissues, according to researchers, per Daily Mail.
Under the influence of cancer cells, white blood cells destroy tissues instead of healing them. Researchers found out that the cancer cells can lie dormant and can increase until a tumor is found.
At this stage, the tumors can reach several later stages; and the host could get seriously sick or die.
Doctors from the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, in New York, interpreted these findings and looked for possibilities that might help find ways to produce drugs to stop this process. These drugs will prevent these malignant cells to hide and spread, thus making it easy for doctors to detect them.
How tumors are developed in the lungs
The infection of the respiratory organ starts when the bronchi tubes (air tubes) and their tissues are destroyed by developing tumors. These tubes are the passages through which the air enters in the lungs. If the air sacs are damaged by malignant cells, it may cause breathing difficulties.
There are two kinds of lung cancer: non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) and small cell lung cancer (SCLC). Of the two types, SCLC is the one that causes tumors.
A study showed that cancer patients develop these two types. These patients have 80 to 85 percent to develop NSCLC while they only have 15 to 20 percent to develop SCLC. Fortunately, new therapies are available with drugs that could aid the immune system to stop the spread of cancer.
According to the American Cancer Society, there will be new cases of 235,000 of lung cancer, but more than half will die at 131,880 case. That is a grim number for the projected death toll.
In a study published by the Nature journal, the specialists checked both lung tissues and cancer growths in about 35 patients.
Shedding light on how tumors spread in the body
Evidence from the study says the macrophages in the lungs will be seen clustered close to cell tumors when they are starting to develop.
This is an indication that cancer cells are beginning to spread into cells. By infecting the healthy lung tissues, it will cause massive infection of host cells in time.
Overall, the whole process is started by the invasive cancer cells that cause major changes how the macrophages or white blood cells function. Somehow, malignant cells cause immune bodies to weaken healthy tissues so the tumors develop as unhealthy lung tissues.
According to Dr. Miriam Merad, Director of the Precision Immunology Institute, "These observations are significant for Mount Sinai in the future since we have a strong lung cancer screening program that identifies patients having early lung cancer tumors before they are fully invasive," as per Today UK News.
The fact immune cells attack healthy tissues in the lungs because cancer cells can alter the healing effect of macrophages may still be reversed; and scientists still need to look for solutions to solve this dilemma.