A multi-layer post-transcriptional gene regulatory program fuels cancer angiogenesis and metastasis

Ali Nehme, Hamed S. Najafabadi, Yasser Riazalhosseini


Metastasis is the process by which cancer cells spread from the primary tumor to surrounding tissues and to distant organs. It is the primary cause of cancer morbidity and mortality, and represent a major clinical problem, where it is estimated to account for ~90% of cancer deaths (1). It has been suggested that metastasis can be represented as a biphasic process, starting with the physical translocation of cancer cells to a distant organ, followed by their capacity to spread, invade, and thrive in non-native environments (1). Several hypotheses have been proposed to describe the cellular processes involved in cancer metastasis such as epithelial mesenchymal transition, accumulation of mutations, macrophage facilitation process, and macrophage transformation or fusion hybridization with neoplastic cells. However, metastasis process remains one of the most inexplicable aspects of cancer at the molecular level (1). Therefore, finding the right molecular targets for therapeutic intervention is crucial for prevention and treatment success.