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Cold Spring Harb Perspect Med. 2019 Oct 15. pii: a037267. doi: 10.1101/cshperspect.a037267. [Epub ahead of print]

Cellular Plasticity during Metastasis: New Insights Provided by Intravital Microscopy.

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Molecular Pathology, Oncode Institute, The Netherlands Cancer Institute, 1066CX Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
Contributed equally


Metastasis is a highly dynamic process during which cancer and microenvironmental cells undergo a cascade of events required for efficient dissemination throughout the body. During the metastatic cascade, tumor cells can change their state and behavior, a phenomenon commonly defined as cellular plasticity. To monitor cellular plasticity during metastasis, high-resolution intravital microscopy (IVM) techniques have been developed and allow us to visualize individual cells by repeated imaging in animal models. In this review, we summarize the latest technological advancements in the field of IVM and how they have been applied to monitor metastatic events. In particular, we highlight how longitudinal imaging in native tissues can provide new insights into the plastic physiological and developmental processes that are hijacked by cancer cells during metastasis.

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