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Cancers (Basel). 2019 Oct 16;11(10). pii: E1575. doi: 10.3390/cancers11101575.

The Complexities of Metastasis.

Author information

1
The Kinghorn Cancer Centre, Garvan Institute of Medical Research, Darlinghurst 2010, Australia. b.perez@garvan.org.au.
2
St Vincent's Clinical School, University of New South Wales Medicine, University of New South Wales, Darlinghurst 2010, Australia. b.perez@garvan.org.au.
3
INSERM UMR_S1109, Tumor Biomechanics, 67000 Strasbourg, France. m.garcia@inserm.fr.
4
Université de Strasbourg, 67000 Strasbourg, France. m.garcia@inserm.fr.
5
Fédération de Médecine Translationnelle de Strasbourg (FMTS), 67000 Strasbourg, France. m.garcia@inserm.fr.
6
The Kinghorn Cancer Centre, Garvan Institute of Medical Research, Darlinghurst 2010, Australia. l.rangel@garvan.org.au.
7
St Vincent's Clinical School, University of New South Wales Medicine, University of New South Wales, Darlinghurst 2010, Australia. l.rangel@garvan.org.au.
8
INSERM UMR_S1109, Tumor Biomechanics, 67000 Strasbourg, France. jacky.goetz@inserm.fr.
9
Université de Strasbourg, 67000 Strasbourg, France. jacky.goetz@inserm.fr.
10
Fédération de Médecine Translationnelle de Strasbourg (FMTS), 67000 Strasbourg, France. jacky.goetz@inserm.fr.
11
The Kinghorn Cancer Centre, Garvan Institute of Medical Research, Darlinghurst 2010, Australia. c.chaffer@garvan.org.au.
12
St Vincent's Clinical School, University of New South Wales Medicine, University of New South Wales, Darlinghurst 2010, Australia. c.chaffer@garvan.org.au.

Abstract

Therapies that prevent metastatic dissemination and tumor growth in secondary organs are severely lacking. A better understanding of the mechanisms that drive metastasis will lead to improved therapies that increase patient survival. Within a tumor, cancer cells are equipped with different phenotypic and functional capacities that can impact their ability to complete the metastatic cascade. That phenotypic heterogeneity can be derived from a combination of factors, in which the genetic make-up, interaction with the environment, and ability of cells to adapt to evolving microenvironments and mechanical forces play a major role. In this review, we discuss the specific properties of those cancer cell subgroups and the mechanisms that confer or restrict their capacity to metastasize.

KEYWORDS:

CTC-clusters; biomechanics; circulating tumor cells (CTCs), extracellular vesicles; epigenetics; epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition; heterogeneity; metastasis; metastatic niche; plasticity

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