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J Cutan Pathol. 2010 Apr;37 Suppl 1:83-7. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0560.2010.01521.x.

Hypothesis: the metastatic niche theory can elucidate infantile hemangioma development.

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Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA 02114-2696, USA.


Recent advances in the understanding of the metastatic phenomenon in cancer have led to the description of a metastatic niche. This concept describes a site prepared for the tumor cells in areas frequently associated with metastasis for the individual tumor studied. This niche is a "soil" that allows for the tumor cell or "seed" to lodge and grow. Certain aspects of the biology of infantile hemangioma cells suggest a relationship to the placenta as a possible site of origin for the hemangioma precursor cells. In this article, a relationship between the placenta, with or without a chorangioma and the hemangioma sites of localization, is hypothesized. The placenta is suggested as the site of humoral factors that prepare a niche similar to the function of malignant tumor cells. If the hypothesis proves to be valid, clues for possible treatment are outlined.

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