Cancer cells have a terrifying-yet-ingenious way of passing through even the smallest blood vessels to spread throughout the human body, according to a new study by researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital. Figuring out how to prevent them from doing so may help slow down the spread of this killer disease.
They are circulating tumor cells xenografted into a fish embryo. We don’t really know much about ciruculating tumor cells (CTC’s) except that some early studies have shown that if they can be found, the risk of recurrence is higher. We haven’t yet found a way to impact those findings so the recommendation is to not even look for them. Finding them does not change therapy, and finding them does not guarantee relapse although the companies that make the assay try to sell it on “don’t you want to know?” In fact, no. I do not want to know a number that may scare people, may not lead to bad outcomes even though it sounds like it does, and has no bearing on actual treatment decisions.
That said, this begs the question of why these cells are capable of the behavior… How do they attain this ability?
Medical researchers have been steadily building evidence that prolonged sitting is awful for your health. And that’s before getting to Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) and/or Pulmonary Embolism (PE) sufferers.
Sitting for long periods of time, like many people do daily at their jobs, is associated with risk factors such as higher cholesterol levels and greater waist circumference that can lead to cardiovascular and metabolic disease. When people sit, slack muscles do not contract to effectively pump blood to the heart. Blood can pool in the legs and affect the endothelial function of arteries, or the ability of blood vessels to expand from increased blood flow.
…The researchers were able to demonstrate that during a three-hour period, the flow-mediated dilation, or the expansion of the arteries as a result of increased blood flow, of the main artery in the legs was impaired by as much as 50 percent after just one hour. The study participants who walked for five minutes for each hour of sitting saw their arterial function stay the same — it did not drop throughout the three-hour period. Thosar says it is likely that the increase in muscle activity and blood flow accounts for this.
This also lends credence to why DVTs happen on long distance travel, discounting what I never believed: the air mixture in planes was responsible. Since my original diagnosis, I’ve been told to take breaks and walk when driving or flying long distances (basically over an hour) to prevent future problems…