Volume 2 Number 3 / Online supplement (J. Cancer Mol. 2: S1, 2006)
(Movie) Tumor-Associated Macrophages: Frontiersmen of Tumor Spreading
provided by Huey-Chung Huang, Chun-Chung Lee, and Tze-Sing Huang (National Cancer Research Institute, National Health Research Institutes, Taipei, Taiwan, ROC)
Solid tumors comprise not only malignant cells, but also extracellular matrix and many other non-malignant cell types, including fibroblast, endothelial cells and inflammatory cells such as macrophages. Infiltrated macrophages manifest multiple functions to enhance tumor cell migration and invasion. By mixing with Matrigel, nasopharyngeal carcinoma NPC-TW01 cells (in green) together with macrophages were ¡§mounted¡¨ into the central hole of a Matrigel island surrounded by culture medium. After co-culture for 22 h, some macrophages migrated before cancer cells to invade into outer Matrigel. Because macrophages exhibit high migrating activity and produce large amount of matrix-degrading enzymes, they may act as "frontiersmen" during the initiation stage of tumor mass spreading.