Encyclopedia of Cancer

Living Edition
| Editors: Manfred Schwab


  • Margot Zoeller
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-27841-9_4762-2


Tumor progression defines the process of invasiveness which leads to settlement and growth of a tumor cell in an organ that is distant from the site of the primary tumor. Such a “secondary” tumor is called metastasis.


Benign tumors are defined by loss of growth control, loss of contact inhibition, a reduced requirement for growth factors, or autocrine production of growth factors. Malignant tumors, i.e., metastasizing tumors, are defined by their capacity of invasiveness. This implies that the tumor invades the surrounding tissue, the vascular system, and distant organs. The process is called the metastatic cascade and is composed of the following elements:
  1. 1.

    Loss of contact between the individual tumor cell and the tissue of the primary tumor

  2. 2.

    Penetration through the basal lamina of the primary tumor

  3. 3.

    Invasion of blood and/or lymphatic vessels

  4. 4.

    Adaptation to the blood pressure

  5. 5.

    Adhesion to vessel endothelia, extravasation, embedding, and...


Stem Cell Tumor Stroma Metastasis Formation Tumor Stem Cell Metastatic Cascade 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.DKFZHeidelbergGermany