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Metastasis, the real problem
By HCat at 2007-01-03 21:42
Metastasis, the real problem

    Although this process is inefficient, metastasistermterm is the cause of 90% of human cancer deaths. Metastasis is a complex process where cells from the primary tumor migrate to distant organs and create new tumors. It has been shown in models that when cells from metastaticterm colon cancer are injected into mice, only 0.01% survive to create new sites. This article explores some of the steps involved in metastasis with a view about the role apoptosis plays in the events. Apoptosis is the orderly program by which cells die. As opposed to necrosis which is accidental cell death from acute injury, apoptosis is signaled to cells that have received cellular damage but can still function.

 

    In cancer, the apoptosis signal is either never received (receptor issues), ignored (over expression of anti-apoptosis signals), or stopped in the signal cascade (deleted parts). This review goes in to detail on current theories for the roles of apoptosis in metastasis, such as the unproven dependence receptor concept, and touches on markers for metastasis such as Heat shock protein 70 (HSP70) and CD44. It also hints at exploiting the apoptosis signaling mechanisms through treatment with antibodies and drugs as a future cancer therapy. The article supports the claim that apoptosis is intimately involved in the process of metastasis, but does not provide specific evidence since proper models are not available to study in lab settings.

 

This is the abstract for the article about metastasis in cancer. (This article as well as other select articles can sometimes be found free from Nature Reviews Cancer)



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