Article

Illuminating the metastatic process

Cancer Research UK London Research Institute, 44 Lincoln's Inn Fields, London, WC2A 3PX, UK.
Nature Reviews Cancer (Impact Factor: 29.54). 11/2007; 7(10):737-49. DOI: 10.1038/nrc2229
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Until recently most studies of metastasis only measured the end point of the process--macroscopic metastases. Although these studies have provided much useful information, the details of the metastatic process remain somewhat mysterious owing to difficulties in studying cell behaviour with high spatial and temporal resolution in vivo. The use of luminescent and fluorescent proteins and developments in optical imaging technology have enabled the direct observation of cancer cells spreading from their site of origin and arriving at secondary sites. This Review will describe recent advances in our understanding of the different steps of metastasis gained from cellular resolution imaging, and how these techniques can be used in preclinical drug evaluation.

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    • "Metastasis of a primary tumor to different tissues and organs is generally the cause of cancer-related death. During cancer progression, invasion of cancer cells is the first step required for metastasis (Thiery, 2002; Sahai, 2007). Numerous studies have postulated that invasion into the surrounding stroma requires cancer cells with epithelial cell morphology to undergo a phenotypic conversion termed the epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT), wherein they lose their intercellular adhesion ability and acquire mesenchymal morphology and increased invasion potential (Thiery, 2002; Hanahan and Weinberg, 2011; Scheel and Weinberg, 2012). "
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    • "EMBO Mol Med (2013) 5, 1523–1536 INTRODUCTION One of the hallmarks of an aggressive tumour is its propensity to form metastases, and the understanding of this process is highly relevant to cancer treatment. The dissemination of cancer cells from primary tumours to form distant metastases is a highly regulated process consisting of invasion, intravasation, transit in the blood or lymph, extravasation and growth at a new site (Chaffer & Weinberg, 2011; Hanahan & Weinberg, 2011; Olson & Sahai, 2009; Sahai, 2007; Yilmaz & Christofori, 2009). The epithelial to mesenchymal transition (EMT) converts epithelial cells into migratory and invasive cells and is a fundamental event in both morphogenesis and cancer progression (Nieto, 2011; Nieto & Cano, 2012). "
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