In nearly all human cancers, the presence of lymph node (LN) metastasis increases clinical staging and portends worse prognosis (compared to patients without LN metastasis). Herein, principally reviewing experimental and clinical data related to malignant melanoma, we discuss diverse factors that are mechanistically involved in LN metastasis. We highlight recent data that link tumor microenvironment, including inflammation (at the cellular and cytokine levels) and tumor-induced lymphangiogenesis, with nodal metastasis. Many of the newly identified genes that appear to influence LN metastasis facilitate general motility, chemotactic, or invasive properties that also increase the ability of cancer cells to disseminate and survive at distant organ sites. These new biomarkers will help predict clinical outcome and point to novel future therapies in metastatic melanoma as well as other cancers.
- Epithelial-mesenchymal transition
- Lymph node metastasis
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research