Cell motility as a chemotherapeutic target

K. J. Pienta, D. S. Coffey

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


The major cause of failure in the treatment of patients with solid malignancies is failure to prevent or control the spread of metastases. The metastatic process is a series of interrelated steps that must be accomplished before distant tumour foci can be established. Tumour cell motility is a complex process, which is involved in many of these steps. The mechanisms by which motility is stimulated and physically generated are complex and as yet poorly understood. Viewing the cell as a chemomechanical engine that relies on a tension based system for movement allows us to design chemotherapeutic strategies to inhibit tumour cell motility directly. Chemotherapeutic agents that block stimulation, interfere with cell-ECM interactions and interfere with cytoskeletal mechanics are already being tested. Further studies will be needed to define their efficacy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)255-263
Number of pages9
JournalCancer Surveys
StatePublished - 1991

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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