The cellular and molecular components involved in pre-metastatic niche formation in colorectal cancer liver metastasis

Colorectal Cancer

Expert Rev Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2020 Nov 11. doi: 10.1080/17474124.2021.1848543. Online ahead of print.


INTRODUCTION: Liver metastasis is the main cause of death in colorectal cancer (CRC). Pre-metastatic niche (PMN), a favorable microenvironment for cancer cells colonization at distant organ, plays a pivotal role in CRC liver metastasis (CRCLM). Our understanding of the mechanisms mediating the formation of liver PMN in CRC has been significantly advanced in recent years, there are still many challenges and questions that remain.

AREAS COVERED: This review covers cellular and molecular components, and the interaction of the primary cancer with the resident microenvironment of distant organ that lead to PMN formation in CRCLM based on the latest literature.

EXPERT OPINION: Various cellular and molecular events are involved in the liver PMN formation in CRC such as bone marrow-derived cells (BMDCs), hepatic stellate cells, Kupffer cells, extracellular matrix and CRC-derived factors. The formation of the liver PMN depends on a complex interaction of CRC with the liver microenvironment including BMDCs recruitment, vascularization, immunosuppression, inflammatory response and extracellular matrix remodeling. This review firstly discusses on the cellular and molecular components contributing to formation of the liver PMN in CRC, so as to provide new ideas for designing effective therapeutic strategies and prognostic markers for CRCLM.