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      Pre-metastatic niches: organ-specific homes for metastases

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          Abstract

          This Review summarizes the natural progression of pre-metastatic niche formation and evolution, highlighting recent advances and future hurdles.

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          Most cited references111

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          Microenvironmental regulation of metastasis.

          Metastasis is a multistage process that requires cancer cells to escape from the primary tumour, survive in the circulation, seed at distant sites and grow. Each of these processes involves rate-limiting steps that are influenced by non-malignant cells of the tumour microenvironment. Many of these cells are derived from the bone marrow, particularly the myeloid lineage, and are recruited by cancer cells to enhance their survival, growth, invasion and dissemination. This Review describes experimental data demonstrating the role of the microenvironment in metastasis, identifies areas for future research and suggests possible new therapeutic avenues.
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            Genes that mediate breast cancer metastasis to the brain.

            The molecular basis for breast cancer metastasis to the brain is largely unknown. Brain relapse typically occurs years after the removal of a breast tumour, suggesting that disseminated cancer cells must acquire specialized functions to take over this organ. Here we show that breast cancer metastasis to the brain involves mediators of extravasation through non-fenestrated capillaries, complemented by specific enhancers of blood-brain barrier crossing and brain colonization. We isolated cells that preferentially infiltrate the brain from patients with advanced disease. Gene expression analysis of these cells and of clinical samples, coupled with functional analysis, identified the cyclooxygenase COX2 (also known as PTGS2), the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) ligand HBEGF, and the alpha2,6-sialyltransferase ST6GALNAC5 as mediators of cancer cell passage through the blood-brain barrier. EGFR ligands and COX2 were previously linked to breast cancer infiltration of the lungs, but not the bones or liver, suggesting a sharing of these mediators in cerebral and pulmonary metastases. In contrast, ST6GALNAC5 specifically mediates brain metastasis. Normally restricted to the brain, the expression of ST6GALNAC5 in breast cancer cells enhances their adhesion to brain endothelial cells and their passage through the blood-brain barrier. This co-option of a brain sialyltransferase highlights the role of cell-surface glycosylation in organ-specific metastatic interactions.
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              Why don't we get more cancer? A proposed role of the microenvironment in restraining cancer progression.

              Tumors are like new organs and are made of multiple cell types and components. The tumor competes with the normal microenvironment to overcome antitumorigenic pressures. Before that battle is won, the tumor may exist within the organ unnoticed by the host, referred to as 'occult cancer'. We review how normal tissue homeostasis and architecture inhibit progression of cancer and how changes in the microenvironment can shift the balance of these signals to the procancerous state. We also include a discussion of how this information is being tailored for clinical use.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Nature Reviews Cancer
                Nat Rev Cancer
                Springer Nature
                1474-175X
                1474-1768
                March 17 2017
                March 17 2017
                :
                :
                Article
                10.1038/nrc.2017.6
                28303905
                38b9ad66-bbea-4d1a-955e-f0f1acaec637
                © 2017
                History

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