Cancer is a multistep process and occurs as a result of the loss of control of cell division, leading to the initial tumor formation, which is followed by metastatic spread. Recent years have witnessed a vast improvement in the understanding of the molecular mechanisms regulating cell division and their links to tumorigenesis. The process of metastasis involves an intricate interplay between cell adhesion, proteolysis, migration, and angiogenesis. However, there is little knowledge of how these events are coordinately regulated in the tumor cell. Given that the uncontrolled spread of the tumor to distant organs is usually lethal, a study of the molecular mechanisms regulating metastasis assumes great significance. Recently, several technologies have been developed for analyzing differential gene expression. The current review discusses the importance of these technologies in the molecular analyses of metastasis.
Copyright 2002 American Cancer Society.