Cancer patients without overt metastases appear to be “tumor-free” upon surgical removal of the primary tumor. Yet, metastatic spread of tumor cells may already have occurred at the time of surgery. Many tumor patients are consequently treated with chemotherapy after surgery to fight metastasis. This may be necessary in patients with detectable metastases, but what kind of more gentle treatment options can be offered in patients without overt metastasis?
Scanning electron microscopic image of a lung metastasis: Tumor cells (green) may form solid nodules in close contact to nearby capillaries (red). The bi-directional crosstalk between tumor cells and endothelial cells enables the growth of metastases. Recent discoveries suggest a much more active role of endothelial cells during this process than has previously been anticipated.
Credit: Source – Oliver Meckes (Eye of Science) / Helmut Augustin (DKFZ)
Kshitij Srivastava, Junhao Hu, Claudia Korn, Soniya Savant, Martin Teichert, Stephanie S. Kapel, Manfred Jugold, Eva Besemfelder, Markus Thomas, Manolis Pasparakis und Hellmut G. Augustin: Postsurgical Adjuvant Tumor Therapy by Combining Anti-Angiopoietin-2 and Metronomic Chemotherapy Limits Metastatic Growth. Cancer Cell 2014, DOI 10.1016/j.ccell.2014.11.005