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Cancer cell dormancy: mechanisms and implications of cancer recurrence and metastasis

Authors Gao XL, Zhang M, Tang YL, Liang XH

Received 2 May 2017

Accepted for publication 12 July 2017

Published 27 October 2017 Volume 2017:10 Pages 5219—5228

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/OTT.S140854

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Akshita Wason

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Prof. Dr. Geoffrey Pietersz

Xiao-lei Gao,1,2 Mei Zhang,1,3 Ya-ling Tang,1,3 Xin-hua Liang1,2

1State Key Laboratory of Oral Diseases, 2Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, 3Department of Oral Pathology, West China Hospital of Stomatology, Sichuan University, Chengdu, Sichuan, People’s Republic of China

Abstract: More recently, disease metastasis and relapse in many cancer patients several years (even some decades) after surgical remission are regarded as tumor dormancy. However, the knowledge of this phenomenon is cripplingly limited. Substantial quantities of reviews have summarized three main potential models that can be put forth to explain such process, including angiogenic dormancy, immunologic dormancy, and cellular dormancy. In this review, newly uncovered mechanisms governing cancer cell dormancy are discussed, with an emphasis on the cross talk between dormant cancer cells and their microenvironments. In addition, potential mechanisms of reactivation of these dormant cells in certain anatomic sites including lymph nodes and bone marrow are discussed. Molecular mechanism of cellular dormancy in head and neck cancer is also involved.

Keywords: cancer cell dormancy, disseminated tumor cells, head and neck cancer, hypoxia, lymph node metastasis

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