Tumor Metastasis in the Microcirculation

  • Bingmei M. FuEmail author
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 1097)


Tumor cell metastasis through blood circulation is a complex process and is one of the great challenges in cancer research as metastatic spread is responsible for ∼90% of cancer-related mortality. Tumor cell intravasation into, arrest and adhesion at, and extravasation from the microvessel walls are critical steps in metastatic spread. Understanding these steps may lead to new therapeutic concepts for tumor metastasis. Vascular endothelium forming the microvessel wall and the glycocalyx layer at its surface are the principal barriers to and regulators of the material exchange between circulating blood and body tissues. The cleft between adjacent endothelial cells is the principal pathway for water and solute transport through the microvessel wall in health. Recently, this cleft has been found to be the location for tumor cell adhesion and extravasation. The blood-flow-induced hydrodynamic factors such as shear rates and stresses, shear rate and stress gradients, as well as vorticities, especially at the branches and turns of microvasculatures, also play important roles in tumor cell arrest and adhesion. This chapter therefore reports the current advances from in vivo animal studies and in vitro culture cell studies to demonstrate how the endothelial integrity or microvascular permeability, hydrodynamic factors, microvascular geometry, cell adhesion molecules, and surrounding extracellular matrix affect critical steps of tumor metastasis in the microcirculation.



This work was supported by the NSF CBET 0754158, NIH CA153325-01, CA137788-01, and 1UG3TR002151-01.


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© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Biomedical EngineeringThe City College of the City University of New YorkNew YorkUSA

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