The Effects of Cell Adhesion on Solid Tumour Geometry



The development of a primary solid tumour (e.g. a carcinoma) begins with a single normal cell becoming transformed as a result of mutations in certain key genes. This transformed cell differs from a normal one in several ways, one of the most notable being its escape from the body’s homeostatic mechanisms, leading to inappropriate, proliferation. An individual tumour cell has the potential, over successive divisions, to develop into a cluster (or nodule) of tumour cells. Further growth and proliferation leads to the development of an avascular tumour consisting of approximately 106 cells. This cannot grow any further, owing to its dependence on diffusion as the only means of receiving nutrients and removing waste products. For any further development to occur the tumour must initiate angiogenesis — the recruitment of blood vessels. Once angiogenesis is complete, the blood network can supply the tumour with the nutrients it needs to grow further. There is now also the possibility of tumour cells finding their way into the circulation and being deposited at distant sites in the body, resulting in metastases (secondary tumours).


Tumour Cell Density Individual Tumour Cell Primary Solid Tumour Remove Waste Product Tumour Geometry 
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© Springer Japan 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of MathematicsUniversity of DundeeDundeeScotland

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