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Science. 2018 Mar 23;359(6382):1403-1407. doi: 10.1126/science.aal3622. Epub 2018 Mar 22.

Lymph node metastases can invade local blood vessels, exit the node, and colonize distant organs in mice.

Author information

1
Edwin L. Steele Laboratories, Department of Radiation Oncology, Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) Cancer Center, MGH and Harvard Medical School (HMS), Boston, MA 02114, USA.
2
Division of Gastroenterology, MGH and HMS, Boston, MA 02114, USA.
3
Department of Biological Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA 02142, USA.
4
Graduate Program in Immunology, Division of Medical Sciences, HMS, Boston, MA 02115, USA.
5
Program in Cellular and Molecular Medicine, Children's Hospital Boston and HMS, Boston, MA 02115, USA.
6
Department of Otorhinolaryngology and Head and Neck Cancer Center, Samsung Medical Center, Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine, Seoul, South Korea.
7
Department of Pediatrics, Children's Hospital Boston and HMS, Boston, MA 02115 USA.
8
Department of Radiation Oncology, MGH and HMS, Boston, MA 02114, USA.
9
Edwin L. Steele Laboratories, Department of Radiation Oncology, Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) Cancer Center, MGH and Harvard Medical School (HMS), Boston, MA 02114, USA. tpadera@steele.mgh.harvard.edu.

Abstract

Lymph node metastases in cancer patients are associated with tumor aggressiveness, poorer prognoses, and the recommendation for systemic therapy. Whether cancer cells in lymph nodes can seed distant metastases has been a subject of considerable debate. We studied mice implanted with cancer cells (mammary carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, or melanoma) expressing the photoconvertible protein Dendra2. This technology allowed us to selectively photoconvert metastatic cells in the lymph node and trace their fate. We found that a fraction of these cells invaded lymph node blood vessels, entered the blood circulation, and colonized the lung. Thus, in mouse models, lymph node metastases can be a source of cancer cells for distant metastases. Whether this mode of dissemination occurs in cancer patients remains to be determined.

PMID:
29567713
PMCID:
PMC6002772
DOI:
10.1126/science.aal3622
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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