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The molecular pathogenetic role of cell adhesion in endocrine neoplasia
  1. S Ezzat1,
  2. S L Asa2
  1. 1Department of Medicine, University of Toronto, Endocrine Oncology Site Group, Mount Sinai and Princess Margaret Hospitals, Ontario Cancer Institute, University Health Network, Toronto, Ontario, Canada M5G-1X5
  2. 2Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, University of Toronto
  1. Correspondence to:
 Dr S Ezzat
 600 University Avenue 437, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, M5G-1X5;


It is becoming increasingly evident that cell adhesion is an important determinant of organised growth and the maintenance of architectural integrity. Indeed, reduced adhesiveness between cells and with the extracellular matrix is a hallmark of neoplastic growth. In neuroendocrine tissues, neural cell adhesion molecule is implicated in modulating cell growth, migration, and differentiation. This review will focus on the molecular pathways involving key growth factor receptors that govern normal adhesive forces. The extent to which disruption of these adhesive forces contributes to the tumorigenic process in neuroendocrine tissues will be highlighted. Validation of the functional relevance of these adhesive pathways will be discussed in light of targeted pharmacotherapeutic studies that are unmasking novel approaches to the treatment of neuroendocrine tumours.

  • AdsFlt, adenoviral soluble vascular endothelial growth factor receptor 1
  • FGF, fibroblast growth factor
  • FGFR, fibroblast growth factor receptor
  • Ig, immunoglobulin
  • MEN, multiple endocrine neoplasia
  • NCAM, neural cell adhesion molecule
  • ptd, pituitary tumour derived
  • fibroblast growth factor receptors
  • pituitary tumours
  • pancreatic neuroendocrine tumours
  • cell adhesion

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