Tumour invasion and metastases is a complex, dynamic, multi-step process:
♦ Initial invasion of tumour through basement membrane.
♦ Movement into connective tissue surrounding tumour cells.
♦ Invasion of tumour cells into blood vessels.
♦ Circulating tumour cells are arrested in blood vessels of a distant organ or tissue; tumour cells invade organ from blood vessels.
♦ Tumour cells then grow within tissue to form a metastatic tumour that may become clinically evident.
♦ Process of tumour invasion and metastases results from alterations in cell-to-cell and cell-to-matrix adhesion and increased matrix degradation.
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