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Mol Imaging Biol. 2011 Jun;13(3):471-80. doi: 10.1007/s11307-010-0366-1.

Evidence for an additional metastatic route: in vivo imaging of cancer cells in the primo-vascular system around tumors and organs.

Author information

1
Department of Physics and Astronomy, Seoul National University, Seoul, South Korea.

Abstract

PURPOSE:

Researchers have been studying the mechanisms by which metastasis can be prevented via blocking the hematogenous and the lymphatic routes for a long time now. However, metastasis is still the single most challenging obstacle for successful cancer management. In a new twist that may require some retooling of this established approach, we investigated the hypothesis that tumor metastases can occur via an independent fluid-conducting system called the primo-vascular system.

PROCEDURES:

The dissemination and growth of near-infrared quantum dot (NIR QD)-electroporated cancer cells in metastatic sites were investigated using in vivo multispectral imaging techniques.

RESULTS:

Our results show that the NIR QD-labeled cancer cells were able to migrate through not only the blood vascular and lymphatic systems but also the primo-vascular system extending from around the tumor to inside the abdominal cavity. Furthermore, the NIR QD-labeled cancer cells, which had been seeded intraperitoneally, specifically infiltrated the primo-vascular system in the omentum and in the gonadal fat.

CONCLUSIONS:

These findings strongly suggest that the primo-vascular system may be an additional metastasis route, complementing the lymphatic and hematogenous routes, which facilitate the dissemination and colonization of cancer cells at secondary sites.

PMID:
20567924
DOI:
10.1007/s11307-010-0366-1
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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