As discussed in the preceding sections, there are several indications that the lymphocyte homing receptors involved in the normal process of lymphocyte recirculation are also relevant to the behavior of metastatic cells. Cell fusion experiments indicate that previously nonmetastatic cells can acquire metastatic capacity from fusion with normal lymphocytes. Murine T lymphomas that bear high levels of functional homing receptors can metastasize to peripheral lymphoid organs, whereas those lymphomas lacking homing receptors cannot. Virtually all lymph node metastases of lymphomas contain a high proportion of MEL-14hi cells, even if the primary tumor has been selected to be relatively deficient in these cells. Further investigations of the biology of lymphocyte homing receptors will reveal whether or not there are additional lymphocyte homing receptors and will clarify the role of lymphocyte homing receptors in metastasis. Antibodies against these lymphocyte homing receptors could therefore be useful for diagnosis and treatment of metastatic disease.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research