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BOOK REVIEWS
Invasion and Metustasis. News and Current Views.
J.-P. THIERY
and B. SORDAT(Eds). Karger, New York, 1995.
No. of pages: 412. Price: $136.75.
This volume is a special edition of the journal Invasion and
Metastasis. The 37 contributions are grouped for convenience
into four sections: (1) Models of Tumour Progression;
( 2 ) Cell-Cell and Cell-ECM Interactions on Malignancy;
(3) Proteases and Their Inhibitors in Invasion and Metastasis;
(4) Growth, Hormones, Angiogenic Factors and Their Receptors, Organospecificity of Metastasis. It must be appreciated
that these headings represent an attempt to collect papers in
related subject areas, rather than suggesting that they contain
a comprehensive consideration of the topics--a task that
would clearly be possible in a work of this size. Nevertheless,
the degree of coverage varies, with a more satisfactory review
of topics 2 and 3 than the other two topics, which are more
broadly defined.
The editors introduce this volume with a brief overview of
the subjects, in which they emphasize some of the factors that
may be responsible for the relatively slow rate of progress
in invasion and metastasis research and point out some
potentially hopeful directions based on the contents of this
volume. These generalizations include, for instance, the use of
developmental models in expanding knowledge of the cell
biology of tumours, and the value of studies of parasite
invasion in elucidating mechanisms which may be significant in
malignancy.
The individual articles cover a range of style. Many are
written in mini-review format, whilst others are reports of
specific scientific investigations and are written in the usual
format, of a scientific communication. It is possibly the
reviews, comprising about 75 per cent of the contributions,
that are most likely to attract a broad readership amongst
cancer biologists.
The section ‘Models of Tumour Progression’ is by far the
shortest, comprising only five papers, one of which deals with
cell adhesion and might have been more at home in section 2.
Subjects covered in this section are mouse skin tumour progression, multicellular resistance, ras and metastasis and HOX
genes in human cancer. The second section dealing with
Cell-Cell and Cell-ECM Interactions in Malignancy contains
13 articles on a wide range of topics including cadherins,
CD44, fibronectin, and the integrins. There are ten articles in
the third grouping entitled ‘Proteases and Their Inhibitors in
Invasion and Metastasis’, although there is in fact very little
reference to inhibitors. A comprehensive treatment cannot be
expected in a compilation such as this and the range of
proteases considered is almost entirely restricted to the serine
and metalloproteinases, with little or no mention of cysteine
and aspartic proteinases which are also the subject of much
current interest. The title of the final section, ‘Growth,
Hormones, Angiogenesis Factors and Their Receptors,
Organospecificity of Metastasis’, is the broadest of all and it is
not surprising that nine short articles (which are excellent in
themselves) fail to give a true representation of the great range
of current research in these areas.
In summary, this volume provides a selection of current
work in the general area of invasion and metastasis. It makes
no claim to be comprehensive, although in general it conveys a
fair picture of the topics which are occupying invasion and
metastasis researchers at the moment (frequently the same
topics that have occupied us for years!) Active investigators in
this field should find much to interest them in this book and
newcomers will also find it an effective method of acquainting
themselves with many areas of current activity in invasion and
metastasis research.
D. MCCORMICK
Neuropathology
Institute of Pathology
The Queen’s University of Beyast
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