Metastasis is the leading cause of cancer mortality. Extravasation of cancer cells is a critical step of metastasis. We report a novel proof-of-concept study that investigated whether non-toxic blood-soluble chemical agents capable of rheological modification of the near-vessel-wall blood flow can reduce extravasation of tumor cells and subsequent development of metastasis. Using an experimental metastasis model, we demonstrated that systemic administration of nanomolar concentrations of so-called drag-reducing polymer dramatically impeded extravasation and development of pulmonary metastasis of breast cancer cells in mice. This is the first proof-of-principle study to directly demonstrate physical/rheological, as opposed to chemical, way to prevent cancer cells from extravasation and developing metastasis and, thus, it opens the possibility of a new direction of adjuvant interventional approach in cancer.
Keywords: blood cell traffic; breast cancer; drag-reducing polymer; extravasation; hemodynamics; metastasis; microvessels.