Cancer cells spread way earlier than thought, seeding metast
Cancer cells are able to spread from a nascent tumor much earlier than scientists long thought and are more adept than later emigrants at forming potentially lethal metastases at distant sites such as the brain and bones, researchers reported in two studies published Wednesday.
The discovery offers the first molecular explanation of how that early spread occurs, hinting at why early detection and treatment often fail to prevent cancer deaths: “Early” is still too late.

Why it matters:
Cancer dogma holds that after cells acquire genetic mutations that make them malignant, they proliferate out of control, eventually forming a tumor. Cells that make up the tumor accumulate additional mutations, some of which enable them to move into the bloodstream, reach distant organs, and set up a malignant colony. Such metastases are responsible for more than 90 percent of cancer deaths....