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Paclitaxel: wrong foot forward in cancer

In vitro studies by researchers from the Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Instituteand the University of California, San Diego suggest that the generic chemotherapeutic paclitaxel increases metastasis in some cancers by promoting the formation of invadopodia-foot-like cell membrane protrusions that enable primary tumor cells to become invasive.1 The team also showed in vitro that cyclin dependent kinase 5 inhibitors blocked invadopodia formation-including that induced by paclitaxel.

The next step is in vivo studies to investigate the relevance of the findings to paclitaxel-treated cancers.

Over the past two decades, multiple studies have linked invadopodia on tumor cells with the degradation of the extracellular matrix (ECM) and a concomitant increase in tumor cell invasion and

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