Intravascular Survival and Extravasation of Tumor Cells

Cancer Cell. 2017 Sep 11;32(3):282-293. doi: 10.1016/j.ccell.2017.07.001.


Most metastasizing tumor cells reach distant sites by entering the circulatory system. Within the bloodstream, they are exposed to severe stress due to loss of adhesion to extracellular matrix, hemodynamic shear forces, and attacks of the immune system, and only a few cells manage to extravasate and to form metastases. We review the current understanding of the cellular and molecular mechanisms that allow tumor cells to survive in the intravascular environment and that mediate and promote tumor cell extravasation. As these processes are critical for the metastatic spread of tumor cells, we discuss implications for potential therapeutic approaches and future research.

Keywords: anoikis; metastasis; tumor cell extravasation; tumor cell survival.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anoikis
  • Cell Survival
  • Extravasation of Diagnostic and Therapeutic Materials / pathology*
  • Extravasation of Diagnostic and Therapeutic Materials / therapy
  • Humans
  • Immune System / pathology
  • Neoplastic Cells, Circulating / pathology*
  • Stress, Mechanical