New organ discovered in human body may explain spread of cancer - MRCAESAR.COM

Wednesday, 28 March 2018

New organ discovered in human body may explain spread of cancer


NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
A newfound organ, the interstitium, is a body-wide network of interconnected, fluid-filled compartments.(ILLUSTRATION BY JILL GREGORY/MOUNT SINAI HEALTH SYSTEM)
Scientists believe they may have discovered a new organ in the human body that could provide insight on cancer and other major diseases.
For centuries, experts and doctors thought layers of cells lining the digestive tract, lungs, arteries, veins and muscles were simply a wall of dense connective tissue. But a study published in Scientific Reports Tuesday instead identifies them as an inter-connected “highway” of fluid-filled channels scientists have dubbed the “interstitium.”
Mount Sinai Beth Israel Medical Center Drs. David Carr-Locke and Petros Benias made the discovery while investigating a patient's bile duct for cancer.
If it’s confirmed to be an organ — or a group of tissues with a unique structure performing a specific task — it would take the skin’s place as the largest organ in the human body.
The interstitium, held in place with collagen and flexible connective tissue proteins, “may act like shock absorbers that keep tissues from tearing as organs, muscles and vessels squeeze, pump and pulse as part of daily function,” scientists wrote in the news release.
In addition to protecting organs, scientists suspect the network may also assist in the spread of cancer cells.
“Once they get in, it’s like a water slide. We have a new window on the mechanism of tumor spread,” study co-author Neil Theise told New Scientist.
Theise and his colleagues are now researching whether analysis of the newly discovered channels may allow doctors to identify invasive cancer in its earliest stages.
“This finding has the potential to drive dramatic advances in medicine,” Theise said in a statement, “including the possibility that the direct sampling may become a powerful diagnostic tool.”

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