Molecular Pathology of Tumor Metastasis

I. Predictive Pathology

József TÍMÁR1, Orsolya CSUKA1, Zsolt OROSZ1, András JENEY2, László KOPPER2

1Department of Tumor Progression, National Institute of Oncology, Budapest, Hungary
21st Institute of Pathology Experimental Cancer Research, Semmelweis University, Budapest, Hungary


Millenium reviews of oncology agreed that the last century produced major developments mainly in the management of the primary tumor, but despite all of these results, cancer still remains among the leading causes of death due to the failure of clinical management of disseminated disease. This failure is primarily due to the lack of detailed information on the molecular mechanisms of tumor metastasis. Therefore, one of the hottest fields in experimental oncology is metastasis research, which provides more and more information about the molecular mechanisms. However, this information is fragmented and is not yet exploited in clinical practice. A new field of diagnostic pathology recently emerged, which translates basic research data to diagnostic practice to provide clinically relevant information on the biological potential (in this case metastatic potential) of the malignant tumors. Since tumor cell-extracellular matrix interactions are key features of tumor dissemination, expression of genes responsible for them can define the metastatic potential of malignant tumors. This review summarizes our recent knowledge on the metastatic geno- and phenotype of major human solid tumors: lung, colon, breast, prostate cancers and malignant melanoma. Pathology & Oncology Research, Vol 7, Nr 3, 217-230, 2001

Key words: metastatic cascade; extracellular matrix interaction; metastatic phenotype; lung cancer; breast cancer; colon cancer; prostate cancer; malignant melanoma

Received: Aug 14, 2001; accepted: Aug 31, 2001
Correspondence: József TÍMÁR, Department of Tumor Progression, National Institute of Oncology, Ráth Gy. U. 7-9. Budapest H-1122, Hungary; Tel: 36 1 224 8786, Fax: (36 1) 224 8706; E-mail:

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