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EXS. 1991;59:147-62.

Cell motility, a principal requirement for metastasis.

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Laboratory of Pathology, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD 20892.


In studying the role of motility in the metastasis of tumor cells, we have described an autocrine motility factor. This agent, which stimulates random motility, probably contributes to the initial dissociation of the cells from the primary tumor mass. Extracellular matrix components, via several different mechanisms, may facilitate the crossing of biological barriers by the cells prior to the entry into the circulation. In locating at new sites, the tumor cells may be induced to exit from the circulation in response to attractants such as IGFs that could emanate from the target organ. These same growth factors could then stimulate cellular proliferation for another metastatic cycle. It is quite probable that detection of AMF may provide a new tool in cancer diagnosis. The complete characterization of AMF may also yield valuable therapeutic approaches: design of low molecular size antagonists of the attractants and antibodies that might be effective therapeutically as well as diagnostically. It seems clear, in any event, that immobilizing the tumor cell may be a crucial step in inhibiting metastasis.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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