Surgeons have been perplexed by the same observation: if we’re dealing with the same kind of cancer, using the same surgery, by the same doctor… why in some cases is there metastasis?
Doctor José Manuel Cózar, Head of the Urology Department at the Virgen de las Nieves explained, “We diagnose two people with the same type of prostate cancer. The two patients are similar. We operate on them both with the same technique and we cure them. However, one of them returns with metastasis and the other does not.”
During surgery, cells from within that tumor flow into the bloodstream – it’s inevitable, yet some gather in bone marrow and metastasise, sometimes they don’t . Until now, the investigations pointed to the fact that the cause of the metastasis depended on the number of CTCs (Circulating Tumour Cells) present in the marrow but now instead of counting the cells, researchers in Granada took a closer look at the cells themselves.
What they found were two types of CTC; aggressive and harmless ones. The aggressive ones get past all the body’s defences, so that the conclusion they have reached is simple: if a patient has the relatively harmless ones, he will need check ups from between six months to one year later. Those unfortunate enough to have the aggressive ones will need check ups each month.
What this means is once you know what sort of CTCs the patient has, doctors can act faster to counter metastasis and to this research, with its practical application, it has put Granada at the forefront on a worldwide level.
(News: Metropolitan Granada, Andalucia)