In many cases of aggressive cancer, the gene is "turned off" or missing, but in patients whose cancer has not spread, the gene is there, which is normal. This suggests the gene works to prevent cancer from spreading.
To test the theory, researchers from the University of Virginia inserted a normal copy of the gene into aggressive cancer cells without the gene, and they found the cells began to grow normally and lost their ability to spread to other organs. Researchers say this research could be a building block for the development of a test to identify patients at risk.
This study is published in the journal Cancer Research.