The Van Andel Institute and researchers from the United States, China, and Singapore have discovered an important protein that may play a significant part in the development of nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC). NPC is the most common cancer of the head and neck and also has the highest rates of spread to distant locations (metastasis). Southeast Asia has a prevalence that is almost 25 times that of other parts of the world.
The research showed that a protein, called seroglycin, was produced at very high levels in aggressive forms of the cancer. They could also make less aggressive cancers turn into aggressive forms by increasing the amount of this protein in the cancer cells. The discovery opens up a new potential target for this form of cancer.