Factors in prostate cancer metastasis

A. A. Geldof, B. R. Rao*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Death related to prostate cancer is invariably due to the tumor metastasis (to lungs, skeleton and lymph nodes). Tumor cell metastatic behaviour is still poorly understood. The R3327 prostate tumor model in the male Copenhagen rat offers an opportunity to investigate the different aspects of metastatic processes in vivo and to evaluate effects of current and new treatment approaches. Lymphatic spread of cancer cells can be measured by determining volume of local load in successive draining lymph node stations. Surgical removal of primary tumor and inguinal lymph node shows that lymphatic metastasis in the R3327-MATLyLu tumor variant is a continuous progressive phenomenon, which starts already in early stages of tumor growth after subcutaneous transplantation. Spread to the lungs can be quantified by enumeration of macroscopically visible pleural lung colonies. Metastatic spread to the lungs can be mimicked by intravenous injection of monodispersed tumor cell suspension. Within 10 days pleural tumor colonies become visible. Effects of different agents and treatments like chemotherapeutic drugs, heparin, surgery and high energy shock wave (HESW) treatment have been described using these methods. Recently, metastasis to the vertebral column was induced by temporal occlusion of venous blood flow through the caval veins while injecting tumor cells in the lateral tail vein. The resulting osteoblastic metastatic lesions in the lumbar vertebrae and the concomitant spinal cord compression led in time to the loss of motoric and sensory function of the hind legs. These observations permit investigation of the mechanism of both metastasis based on biological functions, i.e. sensory and motoric function of the hind legs. Finally, it can be said that the various variants of the R3327 rat prostate tumor offer an appropriate model to study various aspects of prostate cancer and metastasis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1303-1306
Number of pages4
JournalAnticancer Research
Issue number5 A
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1990

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