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Mol Oncol. 2016 Oct 7. pii: S1574-7891(16)30109-0. doi: 10.1016/j.molonc.2016.09.009. [Epub ahead of print]

Tumor cell dormancy.

Author information

1
Oncology Program, Institute for Research in Biomedicine (IRB Barcelona), The Barcelona Institute of Science and Technology, 08028 Barcelona, Spain; ICREA Institució Catalana de Recerca i Estudis Avançats, 08010 Barcelona, Spain. Electronic address: roger.gomis@irbbarcelona.org.
2
Oncology Program, Institute for Research in Biomedicine (IRB Barcelona), The Barcelona Institute of Science and Technology, 08028 Barcelona, Spain.

Abstract

Metastasis is the primary cause of death in cancer patients and current treatments fail to provide durable responses. Efforts to treat metastatic disease are hindered by the fact that metastatic cells often remain dormant for prolonged intervals of years, or even decades. Tumor dormancy reflects the capability of disseminated tumor cells (DTCs), or micrometastases, to evade treatment and remain at low numbers after primary tumor resection. Unfortunately, dormant cells will eventually produce overt metastasis. Innovations are needed to understand metastatic dormancy and improve cancer detection and treatment. Currently, few models exist that faithfully recapitulate metastatic dormancy and metastasis to clinically relevant tissues, such as the bone. Herein, we discuss recent advances describing genetic cell-autonomous and systemic or local changes in the microenvironment that have been shown to endow DTCs with properties to survive and eventually colonize distant organs.

KEYWORDS:

Breast cancer; Cancer; Dormancy; Latency; Metastasis

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