“Metastasis” is the spread and growth of tumor cells from the original tumor to secondary sites throughout the body. Metastatic cancer is the primary cause of cancer-related deaths for most solid tumor types. The process of metastasis is very complex, requiring multiple individual steps and the cooperation of different cell types during the dissemination and proliferation steps. Many genes are involved in this process, but, at present, few have been identified and characterized.
In the attached study, authors have integrated multiple genome-wide analysis methods, in order to attempt to identify large numbers of candidate metastasis-associated genes and pathways based on a highly metastatic mouse model. Using this strategy, authors have identified a number of genes that predict outcome of human breast cancer.
These genes implicate specific molecular and cellular pathways in the metastatic process––which might be used to intervene in the process as target therapy. Furthermore, this integrated analysis implicates pre-existing drugs that might be re-purposed to help prevent or reduce metastatic burden in patients. The combined results obtained from this interesting analytical strategy thus provide an important platform for further genome-wide analysis into the etiology of metastatic disease.
PLoS Genet 2o16; 12: e1005989