A new study in mice is proving that inflammation triggers colon cancer to spread and metastasize.
Prostaglandin E2, or PGE2 is a pro-inflammatory bioactive fat, or lipid, found in colon, lung, breast, head and neck cancers. When high levels of PGE2 are found in cancer, it often indicates a poor prognosis. PGE2 normally activates when you hurt yourself by stimulation healing properties of the immune system. So levels go up during injury and back down after healing. With cancer, the levels remain high and stimulate cancer stem cells which promote cancer growth, metastasis, and ultimately chemotherapy resistance.
When the team was able to block PGE2, cancer stem cells were reduced and metatstasis to other organs was blocked. This gives hope to researchers to find new anti-inflammatory drug therapies and eliminate cancer stem cells.