Metastasis of cancer may cause as many, if not more, deaths than cancer itself. Amongst other reasons, this is because it is very difficult to know where the new tumour is going to develop. Moreover, the mechanisms of metastasis are still not well understood, although a lot of research into it is taking place and advances are being made. Dominion Pharmakine is a company located at the Bizkaia Technological Park where they are studying metastasis.
At times, a cell in our body may suffer a mutation and starts to multiply in an uncontrolled manner. All the cells thus formed result in a tumour which interferes in the form and functions of the tissue of which it is part. Moreover, the tumour provokes the creation of new blood vessels, which assures a good food supply.
If the tumour limits itself to growing, it is said to be a benign tumour and, in most cases, does not require treatment. But, if malignant, it must be treated. If not extirpated, pharmaceutical drugs have to be used to combat the tumour. But the tumour usually has a number of defence mechanisms. One of these is a proteic layer difficult to penetrate by some of these drugs. Dominion Pharmakine is studying which these area and also the suitability of the molecular targets used by the new drugs for bonding to the pathological cells, i.e. they are trying to identify the molecule that best offers the possibility of penetration of the unhealthy cell.
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