The process by which prostate cancer cells non-randomly disseminate to the bone to form lethal metastases remains unknown. Metastasis is the ultimate consequence of the long-range dispersal of a cancer cell from the primary tumor to a distant secondary site. In order to metastasize, the actively emigrating cell must move. Movement ecology describes an individual's migration between habitats without the requirement of conscious decision-making. Specifically, this paradigm describes four interacting components that influence the dynamic process of metastasis: (1) the microenvironmental pressures exerted on the cancer cell, (2) how the individual cell reacts to these external pressures, (3) the phenotypic switch of a cell to gain the physical traits required for movement, and (4) the ability of the cancer cell to navigate to a specific site. A deeper understanding of each of these components will lead to the development of novel therapeutics targeted to interrupt previously unidentified steps of metastasis.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research