New Human Organ Discovered That May Explain How Cancer Spreads

30 March, 2018, 01:03 | Author: Joshua Bennett
  • Scientists have discovered a new organ in the human body and we don't want to look in the mirror ever again

The presence of fluid-filled areas could make it easier for invasive tumors to travel to other parts of the body, or it may create a "highway" of fluid for cancer to use to metastasize.

Researchers from New York University's School of Medicine have found a new human organ they've called "interstitium".

Layers of the body long believed to be dense, connective tissues are actually interconnected, fluid-filled compartments, the scientists report in a new study. According to the authors, it's the first study to recognize the interstitium as an organ in its own right, and one of the largest of the body.

The interstitium refers to spaces inside connective tissues covering the entire body including the digestive, respiratory, and urinary tracts.

Researchers from the New York University in the United States showed that layers of the body long thought to be dense, connective tissues - below the skin's surface, lining the digestive tract, lungs and urinary systems, and surrounding arteries, veins, and the fascia between muscles - are instead interconnected, fluid-filled compartments. The researchers think that it could play an essential component in exactly how illness spread around the body, consisting of several cancers cells.

They took pictures, which were shown to Neil Theisse, the author of the paper and a professor at NYU's School of Medicine, who theorizes that the interstitium's goal may have to do with the immune system, as it moves through the lymphatic system.

What's surprising for researchers is that this new organ has been hiding in plain sight, undiscovered until now because of the specific technique scientists usually employ to analyse tissue. Last year, an Irish surgeon discovered the mesentery, which connects the intestine to the abdomen. This system is said to drain into the lymphatic system and is also the source of lymph which contains infection fighting white blood cells.


The widely accepted theory was proposed in 1889 by the English surgeon Stephen Paget, and it has remained uncontested until a new study recently discovered a new organ that's even larger than the skin.

Previously, scientists could only view dehydrated slices of tissue at such a microscopic level.

For the study, the researchers examined tissue specimens of bile ducts from twelve cancer patients and recognised the structure in each.

What is the function of this newly found organ?

A newer technology, the probe-based confocal laser endomicroscopy, allows for medical personnel to see live tissues microscopically.

The theory is that this meshwork acts like a "shock absorber" which stops the tissues tearing. Theise and his colleagues theorize that it is a shock absorption system for the other organs in the body.

"Can we detect [disease] earlier by sampling fluid from the space?".

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