Metastasis in the bloodstream



Circulating tumour cells use the lymphatic and blood systems to spread throughout the body and form metastases away from the primary tumour. Jacky Goetz, a researcher at the Molecular Immunology and Rheumatology Laboratory (Inserm/University of Strasbourg) and his team have been instrumental in demonstrating that the flow properties of these biological fluids affect the probability of these metastases occurring. In particular, they noticed that slowing of the blood flow where arteries branch off enabled cancer cells to attach themselves to the vessel walls and then to migrate from the blood vessels to colonise tissues. Their work was published in Nature Reviews Cancer.

Cancer cells make extensive use of biological fluids to spread throughout the body and metastasise away from the primary tumours. Thus, while some go directly into the bloodstream, others first exit the tumour via the interstitial fluid and the lymphatic system and then colonise the lymph nodes before entering the bloodstream.

Jacky Goetz, research director of the Tumor Biomechanics team of the Molecular Immunology and Rheumatology Laboratory (Inserm/University of Strasbourg) has for many years been interested in these mechanisms. His work is celebrated in Nature Reviews Cancer.

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