Metastasis-suppressor genes in clinical practice: Lost in translation?
Genes, Tumor Suppressor
Over the past 25 years, an expanding set of metastasis-suppressor genes (MSGs) has been identified that specifically regulate metastasis formation without affecting primary growth. MSGs are involved in diverse molecular processes in multiple tumor types. Given the wealth of metastasis biology that underlies their functions, treatment strategies based on MSGs have an unparalleled potential to improve patient care. Using NM23 as a prime example, we discuss how specific MSGs have been used as prognostic markers, tools for predicting response to treatment, and targets for the development of novel therapies. Barriers specific to the translation of MSG biology into clinical practice are reviewed and future research directions necessary for clinical advances are delineated. Although to date the impact of MSGs on patient care is limited, it is an expanding field with vast potential to help develop new treatments and identify patients who will most benefit from them.