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Proteomics. 2008 Oct;8(19):4054-65. doi: 10.1002/pmic.200800098.

Membrane and membrane-associated proteins involved in the aggressive phenotype displayed by highly invasive cancer cells.

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The National Institute for Cellular Biotechnology, Dublin City University, Dublin, Ireland.


Invasion, the penetration of tumour cells into adjacent tissues, is a fundamental characteristic of malignant carcinomas and a first step in the metastatic process. The molecular mechanisms involved in tumour cell invasion are complex, but over the last couple of decades the knowledge base has grown quite considerably and many proteins with important roles in invasion have been identified and characterised. Benign tumours typically are encapsulated, which inhibits their ability to behave in a malignant manner, meaning these tumours do not grow in a location-limited less aggressive manner, do not invade surrounding tissues and do not metastasise. The ability of malignant tumours to invade and metastasise is the major cause of death for cancer patients. A greater insight into the molecular basis of cancer invasion and metastasis will lead to the development of novel therapies and specific panels of biomarkers for use in the treatment and diagnosis/monitoring in many types of metastatic cancer.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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