Netrin-1 as a potential target for metastatic cancer: focus on colorectal cancer
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- Ko, S.Y., Blatch, G.L. & Dass, C.R. Cancer Metastasis Rev (2014) 33: 101. doi:10.1007/s10555-013-9459-z
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Despite advanced screening technology and cancer treatments available today, metastasis remains an ongoing major cause of cancer-related deaths worldwide. Typically, colorectal cancer is one of the cancers treatable by surgery in conjunction with chemotherapy when it is detected at an early stage. However, it still ranks as the second highest modality and mortality of cancer types in western countries, and this is mostly due to a recurrence of metastatic colorectal cancer post-resection of the primary malignancy. Colorectal cancer metastases predominantly occur in the liver and lung, and yet the molecular mechanisms that regulate these organ-specific colorectal cancer metastases are largely unknown. Therefore, the identification of any critical molecule, which triggers malignancy in colorectal cancer, would be an excellent target for treatment. Netrin-1 was initially discovered as a chemotropic neuronal guidance molecule, and has been marked as a regulator for many cancers including colorectal cancer. Here, we summarise key findings of the role of netrin-1 intrinsic to colorectal cancer cells, extrinsic to the tumour microenvironment and angiogenesis, and consequently, we evaluate netrin-1 as a potential target molecule for metastasis.