Metastasis: new perspectives on an old problem
1 Department of Biotechnology, University of Rijeka, 51000 Rijeka, Croatia
2 Division of Molecular Medicine, Rudjer Boskovic Institute, 10000 Zagreb, Croatia
3 Department of Internal Medicine, University Hospital "Sisters Of Mercy", 10 000 Zagreb, Croatia
4 Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts, Zrinski trg 11, 10000 Zagreb, Croatia
Molecular Cancer 2011, 10:22 doi:10.1186/1476-4598-10-22Published: 22 February 2011
Many hypotheses have been postulated to explain the intricate nature of the metastatic process, but none of them completely accounted for the actual biological and clinical observations. Consequently, metastasis still remains an open issue with only few metastasis-inducing proteins experimentally validated so far. Recently proposed novel metastatic model, where serial and parallel metastatic processes are adequately integrated, might help to bridge the current gap between experimental results and clinical observations. In addition, the identification, isolation and molecular characterization of cancer stem cells, a population of the cells within the tumour mass able to proliferate, self-renew and induce tumorigenesis, will shed new light on the complex molecular events mediating metastasis, invasion and resistance to therapy. Understanding the molecular basis of these tumour characteristics will usher in a new age of individualized cancer therapy. In this review article, we will provide a current overview of molecular mechanisms underpinning metastasis, and discuss recent findings in this field obtained by global molecular profiling strategies such as proteomics.