Prevention of Conversion of Tumor Dormancy into Proliferative Metastases

  • Dalit BarkanEmail author
  • Ann F. Chambers
Part of the Current Cancer Research book series (CUCR)


Late recurrences of cancer are believed to be due to dormant disease that can persist for long periods following apparently successful treatment of a primary tumor. Clinical tumor dormancy thus creates uncertainty for cancer patients and their physicians, who cannot be certain that their cancer will not recur. We have a poor understanding about which individual patients are at risk for cancer recurrence following a period of tumor dormancy. Thus, in spite of the clinical importance of tumor dormancy, much remains to be learned about the mechanisms responsible for induction of, and release from, dormancy. Here we consider the clinical problem of tumor dormancy and discuss evolving ideas of how tumor dormancy and reinitiation of growth may be regulated, both naturally in the body and therapeutically. A better understanding of mechanisms by which dormancy can be regulated may suggest new therapeutic approaches to either eliminate dormant cancer cells or promote the maintenance of dormancy.


Metastasis Tumor dormancy Disseminated tumor cells Molecular characterization Tumor microenvironment Cellular dormancy Angiogenesis Immune regulation 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Laboratory of Tumor Dormancy and Metastasis, Department of Biology and Human Biology, Faculty of Natural SciencesUniversity of HaifaMount CarmelIsrael
  2. 2.Departments of Oncology, Medical Biophysics and Pathology & Laboratory Medicine, London Regional Cancer ProgramLondon Health Sciences Centre/University of Western OntarioLondonCanada

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