Research ArticleCancer Immunology

Invasive breast carcinoma cells from patients exhibit MenaINV- and macrophage-dependent transendothelial migration

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Science Signaling  25 Nov 2014:
Vol. 7, Issue 353, pp. ra112
DOI: 10.1126/scisignal.2005329

Retaining a Barrier to Metastasis

Metastatic disease results from the migration of cancer cells out of the primary tumor and invasion into neighboring tissue or vasculature and establishment of secondary sites. Using an in vitro transendothelial migration assay and cells obtained from fine-needle aspiration (FNA) biopsies from patients with invasive breast cancer, Pignatelli et al. examined the molecular and cellular interactions that may enable the migration of cancer cells into blood vessels (see the Perspective by Kiersse et al.). Where cancer cells colocalized with macrophages in the assay, contacts between endothelial cells were degraded. Macrophages promoted cancer cell migration by secreting the growth factors EGF and CSF-1, and cancer cells in turn secreted CSF-1, which functioned as a paracrine signal to macrophages and for some cancer cell subtypes also as an autocrine signal. Blocking the interaction of CSF-1 with its receptor prevented the transendothelial migration of cancer cells in culture, suggesting that this may be one approach to prevent metastatic progression in cancer patients.

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