Stimulation of the RES and Control of Cancer Metastasis

  • Vincent A. Pollack
  • Isaiah J. Fidler


Recent advances in surgical techniques have led to increased success in the treatment of primary neoplasms. However, the process of metastasis, the growth of tumor cells in organs distant from the primary site, is responsible for the majority of deaths in clinical oncology. The process of metastasis involves a series of sequential steps in which malignant cells are released from the primary tumor and reach distant sites where they proliferate to form new tumor foci. Metastasis begins with the local invasion of the surrounding host tissue by cells from the primary tumor. Tumors can spread by two major routes. For tumors growing in major body cavities, shedding of cells from the primary lesion can produce secondary growths by seeding of cells onto the mucosal andJor serosal surfaces of other organs. In certain neoplasms, distant tumor foci are established by a direct spread of cells from the primary lesion along preformed mechanical pathways such as fascial planes and nerve sheaths. The more common route of tumor spread involves invasion and penetration of tumor cells into blood vessels andJor lymphatics, and their subsequent dissemination to distant organs in the blood or lymph (Fisher and Fisher, 1966, 1967a,b; del Regato, 1977). Following invasion of the blood vessel walls, tumor cells may be transported to distant sites by the bloodstream or may remain localized. Subsequent tumor proliferation results in the continuous shedding of tumor emboli into the circulation (Fidler et al., 1978). Release of tumor emboli is accelerated by intermittent changes in venous pressure, by turbulent blood flow, and by movements or manipulation of the neoplasms during routine examination, biopsy, or surgery (Zeidman, 1957; Fisher and Fisher, 1967; Salsbury, 1975; Hoover and Ketcham, 1975, 1976).


Cancer Metastasis Migration Inhibition Factor Tumor Embolus Tumor Cytotoxicity Immunological Surveillance 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1983

Authors and Affiliations

  • Vincent A. Pollack
    • 1
  • Isaiah J. Fidler
    • 1
  1. 1.Cancer Metastasis and Treatment LaboratoryNational Cancer Institute, Frederick Cancer Research FacilityFrederickUSA

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