Unique Patterns of Metastases in Common and Rare Types of Malignancy

Journal of Surgical Oncology (Impact Factor: 3.24). 05/2011; 103(6):607 - 614. DOI: 10.1002/jso.21841


This review on the unique patterns of metastases by common and rare types of cancer addresses regional lymphatic metastases but also demonstrates general principles by consideration of vital organ metastases. These general features of successfully treated metastases are relationships to basic biological behavior as illustrated by disease-free interval, organ-specific behavior, oligo-metastatic presentation, genetic control of the metastatic pattern, careful selection of patients for surgical resection, and the necessity of complete resection of the few patients eligible for long-term survival after resection of vital organ metastasis. Lymph node metastases, while illustrating these general features, are not related to overall survival because lymph node metastases themselves do not destroy a vital organ function, and therefore have no causal relationship to overall survival. When a cancer cell spreads to a regional lymph node, does it also simultaneously spread to the systemic site or sites? Alternatively, does the cancer spread to the regional lymph node first and then it subsequently spreads to the distant site(s) after an incubation period of growth in the lymph node? Of course, if the cancer is in its incubation stage in the lymph node, then removal of the lymph node in the majority of cases with cancer cells may be curative. The data from the sentinel lymph node era, particularly in melanoma and breast cancer, is consistent with the spectrum theory of cancer progression to the sentinel lymph node in the majority of cases prior to distant metastasis. Perhaps, different subsets of cancer may be better defined with relevant biomarkers so that mechanisms of metastasis can be more accurately defined on a molecular and genomic level. J. Surg. Oncol. 2011;103:607–614. © 2011 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

6 Reads
  • Source
    • "Many cancers express VEGF-C [5-16]. Clinical studies demonstrate that VEGF-C levels correlate with lymph node metastasis and poor prognosis [8,14,17-25], and multiple tumor types preferentially metastasize through lymphatic vessels versus blood vascular dissemination or direct seeding [26,27]. Tumor-induced lymphangiogenesis plays an active role in the induction of metastasis to the lymph nodes in these cancers [28]. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Signaling through vascular endothelial growth factor C (VEGF-C) and VEGF receptor 3 (VEGFR-3) plays a central role in lymphangiogenesis and the metastasis of several cancers via the lymphatics. Recently, the Slit2/Robo4 pathway has been recognized as a modulator of vascular permeability and integrity. Signaling via the Robo receptor inhibits VEGF-mediated effects; however, its effects on lymphatic endothelial cell function have not been well characterized. We found that pretreatment with Slit2N, an active fragment of Slit2, inhibited VEGF-C-mediated lung-derived lymphatic endothelial cell (L-LEC) proliferation, migration, and in vitro tube formation. Slit2N induced the internalization of VEGFR-3, which blocked its activation, and inhibited the activation of the PI3K/Akt pathway by VEGF-C in L-LECs. Moreover, we found that inhibition of VEGF-C-induced effects by Slit2N was Robo4-dependent. These results indicate that Slit2N/Robo4 modulates several key cellular functions, which contribute to lymphangiogenesis, and identify this ligand-receptor pair as a potential therapeutic target to inhibit lymphatic metastasis of VEGF-C-overexpressing cancers and manage lymphatic dysfunctions characterized by VEGF-C/VEGFR-3 activation.
    Full-text · Article · Apr 2014 · Cell Communication and Signaling
  • Source
    • "At a later stage, the newly formed vessels provide routes for tumor cells to migrate, thus leading to metastasis in a process referred to as hematogenous spread. However, the dissemination of tumor cells via the lymphatic system is regarded as the main factor for the development of metastases in the regional lymph nodes and other distant organs [8,9]. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Pancreatic cancer is a rare tumor with an extremely low survival rate. Its known risk factors include the chronic use of tobacco and excessive alcohol consumption and the presence of chronic inflammatory diseases, such as pancreatitis and type 2 diabetes. Angiogenesis and lymphangiogenesis, which have been the focus of recent research, are considered prognostic factors for cancer development. Knowing the angiogenic and lymphangiogenic profiles of a tumor may provide new insights for designing treatments according to the different properties of the tumor. The aim of this study was to evaluate the density of blood and lymphatic vessels, and the expression of VEGF-A, in pancreatic adenocarcinomas, as well as the relationship between blood and lymphatic vascular density and the prognostically important clinical-pathological features of pancreatic tumors. Paraffin blocks containing tumor samples from 100 patients who were diagnosed with pancreatic cancer between 1990 and 2010 were used to construct a tissue microarray. VEGF expression was assessed in these samples by immunohistochemistry. To assess the lymphatic and vascular properties of the tumors, 63 cases that contained sufficient material were sectioned routinely. The sections were then stained with the D2-40 antibody to identify the lymphatic vessels and with a CD34 antibody to identify the blood vessels. The vessels were counted individually with the Leica Application Suite v4 program. All statistical analyses were performed using SPSS 18.0 (Chicago, IL, USA) software, and p values <= 0.05 were considered significant. In the Cox regression analysis, advanced age (p=0.03) and a history of type 2 diabetes (p=0.014) or chronic pancreatitis (p=0.02) were shown to be prognostic factors for pancreatic cancer. Blood vessel density (BVD) had no relationship with clinical-pathological features or death. Lymphatic vessel density (LVD) was inversely correlated with death (p=0.002), and by Kaplan-Meyer survival analysis, we found a significant association between low LVD (p=0.021), VEGF expression (p=0.023) and low patient survival. Pancreatic carcinogenesis is related to a history of chronic inflammatory processes, such as type 2 diabetes and chronic pancreatitis. In pancreatic cancer development, lymphangiogenesis can be considered an early event that enables the dissemination of metastases. VEGF expression and low LVD can be considered as poor prognostic factors as tumors with this profile are fast growing and highly aggressive.Virtual slides: The virtual slide(s) for this article can be found here:
    Full-text · Article · Oct 2013 · Diagnostic Pathology
  • Source
    • "Common gene abnormalities implicated to the occurrence of both sporadic and familial PC are present in Table 1 [9] [10]. As an aggressive tumor, PC metastasizes to the liver and other adjacent organs as well as to the lungs and bones [11], however, only about 0.33% of PCs metastasize to the brain [12]. We report a case of an early onset pancreatic adenocarcinoma and epidural brain metastases. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: We present a case of early onset pancreatic cancer related extra-axial brain metastases. A 46-year-old Caucasian non-Jewish nonobese male with a history of PC diagnosed 3 months ago with metastases to the liver, omentum, malignant ascites, and a history of a pulmonary embolism was admitted to the hospital because of a new onset headache, nausea, and vomiting which started 2 days prior to the encounter. Brain MRI was ordered, which showed acute bihemispheric subdural hematomas and left hemispheric extra-axial heterogeneously enhancing lesions consisting with metastatic disease. The patient was started on ondansentron, metoclopramide, and dexamethasone. The cranial irradiation was started, and the patient's headache and nausea significantly improved. There are only 9 published reports of extra-axial brain metastases related to the pancreatic cancer, whereas our paper is the first such case reported on a patient with epidural metastases and early onset pancreatic cancer.
    Full-text · Article · Oct 2012 · Case Reports in Oncological Medicine
Show more