An Experimental Model for Lymphangiogenesis and Lymphatic Metastasis
Final rept. 1 Jul 2001-30 Jun 2002
NORTHWESTERN UNIV EVANSTON IL
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For patients diagnosed with cancer, metastasis is the most critical prognostic factor. Even after surgical removal and systemic chemo- or radiotherapy of the primary tumor, it is often the metastases that cause morbidity. One avenue of tumor cell metastasis is the circulation, but some of the most common cancers metastasize through the lymphatic system, as evidenced by the location of the metastases in local andor regional lymph nodes or as in-transit metastases. Nonetheless, our understanding of lymphatic metastasis lags far behind that of the hematogenous route. One major block in illuminating the mechanisms of lymphatic metastasis is the lack of a cohesive understanding of lymphatic biology, function, and neogenesis. It is still unclear how tumors gain access to the lymphatics they may alter peripheral lymphatic vessels, induce peripheral lymphangiogenesis, or simply invade preexisting lymphatics. The lack of a cohesive understanding of lymphatic biology is the major hurdle in studying lymphatic metastasis. Systematic studies can only be realized with the development of model systems of normal and tumor lymphangiogenesis.
- Anatomy and Physiology
- Medicine and Medical Research