Metastasis to lymph nodes is a common feature of many human tumors and may facilitate dissemination to other parts of the body. Peritumoral lymphatics, which are located at the periphery of a primary tumor, appear to be anything but peripheral for metastasis, as recent studies have highlighted their critical role in disseminating tumor cells to local lymph nodes. The metastatic process, including lymphangiogenesis, is likely governed by a complex series of interactions among tumor cells, endothelial cells, and non-endothelial stromal components. Therefore, a detailed understanding of the biology of the tumor microenvironment, particularly as it pertains to peritumoral lymphatics near the tumor–stromal junction, may someday translate into clinical approaches that target metastasis at the invasive front. J. Cell. Biochem. 101: 840–850, 2007. © 2006 Wiley-Liss, Inc.
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