Syed Ali Khurram, Fiona M Clarke, Paula M Farthing.
Expression of the Chemokine receptor CXCR4 by cancer cells. literature review.
J Pak Dent Assoc Jan ;13(3):151-7.

Metastasis is the main cause of morbidity and mortality in cancer patients. However, the precise mechanism has stood unknown for a long time. The `chemo-attraction` theory implies that organ-specific attractant molecules enter the circulation, facilitating the humour cells to invade through the blood vessels and thus enter the organs. Chemokines and their receptors play a vital role in leukocyte trafficking and homeostasis and fulfill many of the criteria important in the chemoattraction theory of tumour metastasis. Miller et al (2001) fashioned a series of experiments to study whether chemokine/chemokine receptor interactions play any part in the metastasis of breast cancer. Their findings validated the `chemoattraction theory` of metastasis and revealed significant upregulation of the G-protein coupled chemokine receptor CXCR4 by ,the malignant breast epithelial cells compared to their normal counterparts. The a-chemokine Stromal CellDerived Factor-I (SDF- 1) which is the ligand/chemokine for CXCR4, was also found to be secreted in greater quantities by the target metastatic sites in accordance with the hypothesis. This suggested a potential role of CXCR4/SDF- I interaction in metastasis. Experiments carried out with other malignancies have corroborated the findings of Miller et al. Studies on malignant melanoma, leukaemia, lymphoma and cancers of lung, ovary, prostate, kidney, brain and thyroid, have revealed up-regulated expression of CXCR4 and it`s ligand SDF-1. The expression and role of CXCR4 in oral cancers remains unidentified. It might be interesting to investigate whether CXCR4/SDF-1 interaction has any role in the metastasis of oral cancers to the regional lymph nodes.


Although this article is based on highly complex research, its intriguing nature and significant clinical application related to oral cancer and their metastases establish it as an exemplary piece of effort, which depicts both diligence and vision of the researchers. Oral pathology recently emerged as a separate entity in Pakistan, after much recognition throughout the world. Hence, its importance cannot be much emphasized in a country where Respiratory and GIT diseases, which spread via oral route, are more common then anywhere around the world. I hope pathologist and oral pathologist in Pakistan will work on ventures of joint collaboration to take this initiative to next step. In addition, I am optimistic that Institutes will realize the need to develop both diagnostic and experimental Labs with dental perspective to benefit both patients and clinicians. DR.Behzad
Posted by: behzad on Jan 2005

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