In vitro models of the metastatic cascade: from local invasion to extravasation

Drug Discov Today. 2014 Jun;19(6):735-42. doi: 10.1016/j.drudis.2013.12.006. Epub 2013 Dec 17.


A crucial event in the metastatic cascade is the extravasation of circulating cancer cells from blood capillaries to the surrounding tissues. The past 5 years have been characterized by a significant evolution in the development of in vitro extravasation models, which moved from traditional transmigration chambers to more sophisticated microfluidic devices, enabling the study of complex cell-cell and cell-matrix interactions in multicellular, controlled environments. These advanced assays could be applied to screen easily and rapidly a broad spectrum of molecules inhibiting cancer cell endothelial adhesion and extravasation, thus contributing to the design of more focused in vivo tests.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Humans
  • Microfluidic Analytical Techniques / methods*
  • Neoplasm Invasiveness / pathology*
  • Neoplasms / blood
  • Neoplasms / diagnosis
  • Neoplastic Cells, Circulating / pathology*
  • Signal Transduction / physiology