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      Microenvironmental regulation of metastasis

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      Nature Reviews Cancer

      Springer Science and Business Media LLC

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          Abstract

          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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          Most cited references 102

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          Distinct role of macrophages in different tumor microenvironments.

          Macrophages are prominent in the stromal compartment of virtually all types of malignancy. These highly versatile cells respond to the presence of stimuli in different parts of tumors with the release of a distinct repertoire of growth factors, cytokines, chemokines, and enzymes that regulate tumor growth, angiogenesis, invasion, and/or metastasis. The distinct microenvironments where tumor-associated macrophages (TAM) act include areas of invasion where TAMs promote cancer cell motility, stromal and perivascular areas where TAMs promote metastasis, and avascular and perinecrotic areas where hypoxic TAMs stimulate angiogenesis. This review will discuss the evidence for differential regulation of TAMs in these microenvironments and provide an overview of current attempts to target or use TAMs for therapeutic purposes.
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            Metastasis: a question of life or death.

            The metastatic process is highly inefficient--very few of the many cells that migrate from the primary tumour successfully colonize distant sites. One proposed mechanism to explain this inefficiency is provided by the cancer stem cell model, which hypothesizes that micrometastases can only be established by tumour stem cells, which are few in number. However, recent in vitro and in vivo observations indicate that apoptosis is an important process regulating metastasis. Here we stress that the inhibition of cell death, apart from its extensively described function in primary tumour development, is a crucial characteristic of metastatic cancer cells.
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              Models, mechanisms and clinical evidence for cancer dormancy.

              Patients with cancer can develop recurrent metastatic disease with latency periods that range from years even to decades. This pause can be explained by cancer dormancy, a stage in cancer progression in which residual disease is present but remains asymptomatic. Cancer dormancy is poorly understood, resulting in major shortcomings in our understanding of the full complexity of the disease. Here, I review experimental and clinical evidence that supports the existence of various mechanisms of cancer dormancy including angiogenic dormancy, cellular dormancy (G0-G1 arrest) and immunosurveillance. The advances in this field provide an emerging picture of how cancer dormancy can ensue and how it could be therapeutically targeted.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Nature Reviews Cancer
                Nat Rev Cancer
                Springer Science and Business Media LLC
                1474-175X
                1474-1768
                April 2009
                March 12 2008
                April 2009
                : 9
                : 4
                : 239-252
                Article
                10.1038/nrc2618
                3251309
                19279573
                © 2009

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