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Advances in Cancer Research, Volume 79

Advances in Cancer Research, Volume 79

In this time-honored series, the editors have assembled
a panel of internationally recognized experts and accomplished a "tour de
force" in presenting an overview of the past year’s most salient
discoveries in cancer research. They have chosen topics such as angiogenesis,
metastasis, polyomavirus persistence, tumor development, and animal models of
melanoma. Editors George Vande Woude, PhD, of the National Cancer Institute, and
George Klein, MD, of the Karolinska Institute, are prominent researchers with
the knowledge and experience necessary to objectively gauge the significance of
the progress made by others.

This small but densely written book highlights the emergence of new concepts
and paradigms; it reads well and will benefit clinicians and basic researchers
alike. Numerous illustrations and tables make reading the volume easy and
stimulating.

Not surprisingly, the first chapter focuses on the present and future role of
antiangiogenesis agents. One section is devoted to growth factors and receptor
tyrosine kinases; other sections review platelet-derived endothelial cell growth
factor/thymidine phosphorylase, matrix metalloproteinases, the plasminogen
activator/plasmin system, and integrins. Emerging concepts related to
angiogenesis are reviewed, and the pitfalls and promises of this therapeutic
modality are highlighted. The concise yet exhaustive description of most
antiangiogenic agents in development or in clinical trials allows an interested
reader to understand the various therapeutic targets identified and the current
stage of their laboratory and clinical validation.

Moreover, there is an interesting section on the hepatocyte growth factor (HGF)/Met
pathway and its importance in tumor growth, invasion, and metastasis, as well as
B-cell neoplasia development. After reading it, one can conclude that, although
the precise role of this mechanism needs to be elucidated, evidence indicates
that deregulated HGF/Met signaling may contribute to the development and
progression of specific subtypes of B-cell lymphomas, including Burkitt’s
lymphoma, large B-cell lymphoma, and multiple myeloma.

The complex field of metastasis and the new tools for studying the metastatic
process, such as in vivo videomicroscopy, are described. The latter method will
enable researchers to study the metastatic process as it evolves, as well as the
effects of molecular interventions on specific steps in metastasis. The
"seed and soil" hypothesis of metastasis is revisited and discussed.
The authors conclude the section by identifying potential targets for
antimetastatic therapy.

An elegantly written chapter describes the indispensable role of the
microenvironment in the natural history of low-grade B-cell neoplasms. Indeed,
the authors address the fundamental role of bystander, nontumoral cells in both
the onset and progression of these diseases.

The role of the Epstein-Barr virus is revisited with new knowledge about
latent membrane protein 2 (LMP2). This protein may regulate reactivation from
latency by interfering with normal B-cell signal transduction processes. Current
concepts about the function of LMP2 are described, defining a new class of
regulators of herpesvirus latency.

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