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Mol Med. 2016 Sep;22:32-40. doi: 10.2119/molmed.2015.00207. Epub 2016 Jan 13.

Blood-brain Barrier Remodeling during Brain Metastasis Formation.

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Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, Miami, Florida, United States of America.
Jerzy Kukuczka Academy of Physical Education, Katowice, Poland.


Our understanding of the process of metastatic progression has improved markedly over the past decades, yet metastasis remains the most enigmatic component of cancer pathogenesis. This lack of knowledge has serious health-related implications, since metastasis is responsible for 90% of all cancer-related mortalities. The brain is considered a sanctuary site for metastatic tumor growth, where the blood-brain barrier (BBB) and other components of the brain microenvironment, provide protection to the tumor cells from immune surveillance, chemotherapeutics and other potentially harmful substances. The interactions between tumor cells and the brain microenvironment, principally brain vascular endothelium, are the critical determinants in their progression toward metastasis, dormancy, or clearance. This review discusses current knowledge of the biology of metastatic progression, with a particular focus on the tumor cell migration and colonization in the brain.

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