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Metastasis is the process by which a primary tumor will spread throughout the host body to form a secondary tumor. This is a multi-step process which begins with tumor cell invasion through the extracellular matrix into the bloodstream. In order to do this, the tumor cells will undergo epithelial to mesenchymal transition (EMT).
The tumor cell will release gelatinase enzymes such as MMP-2 and MMP-9 that will degrade the basement membrane and allow invasion into a secondary site. A secondary tumor can then form and obtain its own blood supply by producing growth factors such as VEGF. This formation of blood vessels feeding into a secondary tumor is known as angiogenesis.
This poster provides an overview of this whole process from EMT up to angiogenesis. We outline some of the key factors that influence this process and highlight how the tumor cell environment may promote metastasis. To find out more download your free copy of the poster right here.