Hypothesis: the metastatic niche theory can elucidate infantile hemangioma development

J Cutan Pathol. 2010 Apr;37 Suppl 1(Suppl 1):83-7. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0560.2010.01521.x.


Recent advances in the understanding of the metastatic phenomenon in cancer have led to the description of a metastatic niche. This concept describes a site prepared for the tumor cells in areas frequently associated with metastasis for the individual tumor studied. This niche is a "soil" that allows for the tumor cell or "seed" to lodge and grow. Certain aspects of the biology of infantile hemangioma cells suggest a relationship to the placenta as a possible site of origin for the hemangioma precursor cells. In this article, a relationship between the placenta, with or without a chorangioma and the hemangioma sites of localization, is hypothesized. The placenta is suggested as the site of humoral factors that prepare a niche similar to the function of malignant tumor cells. If the hypothesis proves to be valid, clues for possible treatment are outlined.

MeSH terms

  • Hemangioma / pathology*
  • Hemangioma / physiopathology*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Neoplasm Metastasis / pathology*
  • Neoplasm Metastasis / physiopathology*
  • Skin Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Skin Neoplasms / physiopathology*