Cancer dissemination--lessons from leukocytes
Cancer cells can move through tissues in a variety of different ways. In some cases, an epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition enables cancer cells to acquire fibroblast-like migratory properties. However, it is also becoming apparent that some cancer cells move in an amoeboid way similar to leukocytes. This theme will be the focus of the review, where we will discuss the similarities and differences between the mechanisms used by cancer cells and leukocytes to cross parenchymal basement membranes, move through interstitial tissue, and enter and exit the vasculature. Further, we propose that the ability to switch between different migratory mechanisms is critical for cells to relocate from one tissue to another.