In metastasis, tumor cells disseminate from the primary lesion and home to secondary organs where they may remain dormant for a long time. Metastasis formation is still the most feared manifestation for tumor patients and clinicians. Although improvements have been made concerning earlier detection and specific therapy, most of the cancer patients still die of distant metastases. The purpose of these three volumes is to review the recent progress in molecular metas tasis research and to attempt to further understand the biol ogy of this multifocal process. With respect to present day molecular biology, the pioneers of metastasis research established the basic concepts of metasta sis formation in the 1970s and 1980s, namely, clonal selection of metastatic cells, heterogeneity of metastatic subpopulations, organ specificity of metastasis and the importance of angio genesis (Fidler, Kripke, Nicolson, Folkman and others). In the 1980s and 1990s, several of the molecules involved were identified and their network interactions elucidated. These three volumes of Current Topics in Microbiology and Immuno logy compile the most recent developments on these meta stasis-related molecules; their interactions, regulation, and ways to interfere with their action. It became evident that metastasis-related molecules are confined to distinct cellular compartments, such as the extracellular space, the cell membrane, the cytoplasmic signalling network, and the nuclear regulatory system. For the complex metastatic cascade, proteolysis and alterations in adhesive functions are the most obvious and thus one of the most thoroughly investigated processes.
List of Contents.- Micrometastasis Detection and Treatment with Monoclonal Antibodies.- Transcriptionally Targeted Gene Therapy.- Recombinant Antibody Fusion Proteins for Cancer Immunotherapy.- Influence of Local Cytokines on Tumor Metastasis: Using Cytokine Gene-Transfected Tumor Cells as Experimental Models.- Antitumor and Antimetastatic Activity of lnterleukin-12.- Curing Metastases? Gene and Peptide Therapy.- Effect of Antisense Inhibition of Urokinase Receptor on Malignancy.- Intervention in Receptor Tyrosine Kinase-Mediated Pathways: Recombinant Antibody Fusion Proteins Targeted to ErbB2.- Interactions Between CD44 and Hyaluronic Acid: Their Role in Tumor Growth and Metastasis.- Does Soluble CD44 Reflect the Clinical Behavior of Human Cancer?.- Signal Transduction as a Therapeutic Target.- Immunotherapy of Metastases.- Immunological and Biochemical Modulation in the Treatment of Advanced Colorectal Cancer: Update and Future Directions.- Surgical and Multimodality Approaches to Liver Metastases.