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Nat Rev Cancer. 2007 Jun;7(6):464-74.

Morphogens, morphostats, microarchitecture and malignancy.

Author information

1
Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, P.O. Box 19024, M4-B814, Seattle, Washington 98109-1024, USA. jpotter@fhcrc.org

Abstract

Morphogenetic fields organize tissue morphology in the embryo. By analogy, morphostatic fields maintain normal cell behaviour and normal tissue microarchitecture in the adult. The most prominent feature of cancer is the disruption of tissue microarchitecture. Cancer occurs much more frequently when morphostatic influences fail (metaplasia) or at the junction of two different morphostatic fields. This Review will describe what we know about morphostats and morphostasis, discuss the evidence for the role of disruption of morphostasis in malignancy, and address some testable hypotheses.

PMID:
17522715
DOI:
10.1038/nrc2146
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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