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Selection of metastatic tumour phenotypes by host immune systems

Lookup NU author(s): Emmett O'Flaherty, Richard Charnley, Emeritus Professor John Kirby


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Metastasis and the processes underlying this phenomenon make epithelial cancers so malignant. Local control of cancers by surgery is sometimes possible but locoregional and distant recurrence commonly lead to the failure of treatment with ensuing morbidity and mortality. Tumour cells express a range of new antigens during growth and there are opportunities for the host immune system to interact with these antigens. This immune interaction eliminates the tumour or allows selection of phenotypic variants. Cell phenotypes selected by an incomplete immune response resemble the cell type commonly associated with metastases. Thus we propose that the host immune system may be responsible for selection of this phenotype and progression of the disease.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Kirby JA; O'Flaherty E; Charnley RM; Seymour K; Pettit S

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Lancet

Year: 1999

Volume: 354

Issue: 9194

Pages: 1989-1991

Print publication date: 04/12/1999

ISSN (print): 0140-6736

ISSN (electronic): 1474-547X

Publisher: The Lancet Publishing Group


DOI: 10.1016/S0140-6736(99)04435-9

PubMed id: 10622313


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