Molecular aspects of invasion and metastasis of stomach cancer

Verh Dtsch Ges Pathol. 2000;84:43-9.


The scenario of multiple genetic and epigenetic alterations found in gastric carcinoma differs depending upon the two histological types, indicating that well differentiated or intestinal type and poorly differentiated or diffuse type gastric carcinomas have different genetic pathways. Cancer-stromal interaction through growth factor/cytokine receptor system which plays a central role in invasion and metastasis, is also different between the two types of stomach cancer. The majority of gastric carcinoma exhibit co-expression of IL-8 and its two receptors that evidently confer tumor angiogenesis. IL-8 increases the expression of EGF receptor, VEGF and IL-8 itself by tumor cells themselves, whereas IL-8 decreases expression of E-Cadherin, associated with increase in expression and activity of MMP-9 by tumor cells. These findings overall suggest that IL-8 produced by gastric cancer cells is used for sustained angiogenesis and tissue invasion and metastasis via autocrine/paracrine manners. On the other hand, co-expression of osteopontin (OPN) and CD44v9 in tumor cells correlates well with the degree of lyiphatic vessel invasion or long distant lymph node metastasis in diffuse type gastric carcinoma, indicating that mutual interaction between OPN and CD44v9 on the tumor cells is implicated in lymphogenous metastasis. In addition to these factors, tumor invasion and metastasis requires telomere maintenance regulated by telomerase activity. The human telomerase catalytic subunit, hTERT, is strongly expressed in almost all primary tumors and nodal metastasis.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic
  • Humans
  • Models, Biological
  • Neoplasm Invasiveness
  • Neoplasm Metastasis
  • Stomach Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Stomach Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Stromal Cells / pathology
  • Telomerase / genetics


  • Telomerase