Scientists from Johns Hopkins Medicine in the US have reported that a “domino effect” in cells is responsible for the spread of childhood eye cancer.
They found that a cellular domino effect was responsible for the spread of disease, suggesting that blocking part of the pathway could prevent disease progression.
The scientists concluded that the activin receptor, which plays a role in other cancers such as gallbladder and breast cancer, could be a key target for preventing the spread of retinoblastoma.
To test the theory, researchers injected human retinoblastoma cells into the eyes of two-day-old zebra fish.
They then monitored the growth of eye tumours over the next four to six days.
The scientists injected some of the eyes with a drug that stops the activin receptor from detecting growth signals.
They observed a 55% reduction in the diameter of eye tumours in fish that received the injection compared to those that did not.