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Cell Adh Migr. 2009 Oct-Dec;3(4):351-4. Epub 2009 Oct 7.

Quantitative real-time imaging of molecular dynamics during cancer cell invasion and metastasis in vivo.

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Beatson Institute for Cancer Research, Garscube Estate, Glasgow, UK.


Despite our advanced understanding of primary cancer development and progression, metastasis and the systemic spread of the disease to secondary sites remains the leading cause of cancer-associated death. The metastatic process is therefore a major potential therapeutic target area for cancer researchers and elucidating the key steps that are susceptible to therapeutic intervention will be critical to improve our treatment strategies. Recent advances in intravital imaging are rapidly improving our insight into this process and are helping in the design of stage-specific drug regimes for the treatment of metastatic cancer. Here we discuss current developments in intravital imaging and our recent use of photobleaching and photoactivation in the analysis of dynamic biomarkers in living animals to assess the efficacy of therapeutic intervention on early stages of tumor cell metastasis.

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