(News Medical Net) — Ovarian cancer has one of the highest death rates of all cancers. One reason for this is that cancer turns the body’s defenses against itself. However, new research from Nagoya University published in Matrix Biology suggests that vitamin D can effectively prevent one of the key pathways used by this cancer.
Ovarian cancer often undergoes a process called peritoneal metastasis. In this process, its cells detach from their primary site in the ovary and travel to a secondary implantation site, such as the peritoneal wall or diaphragm. The peritoneum defends against this process using a barrier consisting of mesothelial cells, which prevent the adhesion of cancer cells and limit their spread.
However, ovarian cancer gets around this defense by transforming the protective mesothelial cells into cancer-associated mesothelial cells. This creates an environment that helps metastasis, assisting the spread of cancer around the body. (…)