Squeezing through the microcirculation: survival adaptations of circulating tumour cells to seed metastasis.
Perea Paizal, J
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During metastasis, tumour cells navigating the vascular circulatory system-circulating tumour cells (CTCs)-encounter capillary beds, where they start the process of extravasation. Biomechanical constriction forces exerted by the microcirculation compromise the survival of tumour cells within capillaries, but a proportion of CTCs manage to successfully extravasate and colonise distant sites. Despite the profound importance of this step in the progression of metastatic cancers, the factors about this deadly minority of cells remain elusive. Growing evidence suggests that mechanical forces exerted by the capillaries might induce adaptive mechanisms in CTCs, enhancing their survival and metastatic potency. Advances in microfluidics have enabled a better understanding of the cell-survival capabilities adopted in capillary-mimicking constrictions. In this review, we will highlight adaptations developed by CTCs to endure mechanical constraints in the microvasculature and outline how these mechanical forces might trigger dynamic changes towards a more invasive phenotype. A better understanding of the dynamic mechanisms adopted by CTCs within the microcirculation that ultimately lead to metastasis could open up novel therapeutic avenues.
Dynamical Cell Systems
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British journal of cancer, 2021, 124 (1), pp. 58 - 65