Cancer and Metastasis Reviews

, Volume 27, Issue 1, pp 19–30 | Cite as

The selectin–selectin ligand axis in tumor progression

  • Isaac P. Witz


This review will document that the selectin–selectin ligand axis is actively involved in tumor progression and drives this process. The involvement of selectins and their ligands in tumor progression takes place at three levels which will be reviewed: Interaction of tumor cells with platelets and leukocytes resulting in the formation of circulating emboli; interaction of tumor cells with endothelial cells leading to extravasation of the tumor cells; and utilization of reciprocal pro malignancy signals delivered by the selectins or by their ligands to interacting cells that express the corresponding co-receptor. We propose that the selectin–selectin ligand mediated interactions between cells in the tumor microenvironment constitute an axis of evil, that it be included in the list of pro malignancy factors, and that molecules associated with this axis serve as targets for cancer therapy.


Selectin–selectin ligand Tumor progression Cancer cells Receptor–ligand interactions Cancer therapy Metastasis Extravasation Transendothelial migration 



I wish to thank the former and present members of my team for their devotion, talent, creativity and diligence.

I thank the following foundations and individuals for generous grant support: The Jacqueline Seroussi Memorial Foundation for Cancer Research; The Ela Kodesz Institute for Research on Cancer Development and Prevention, Tel Aviv University; The Fainbarg Family Fund (Orange County, CA); Bonnie and Steven Stern (New York, NY); The Fred August and Adele Wolpers Charitable Fund (Clifton, NJ); Natan Blutinger (West Orange, NJ), Arnold and Ruth Feuerstein (Orange County, CA); The Pikovsky Fund (Jerusalem, Israel); and James J. Leibman and Rita S. Leibman Endowment Fund for Cancer Research.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Cell Research and Immunology, The George S. Wise Faculty of Life SciencesTel Aviv UniversityTel AvivIsrael

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