The last article from Professor Li (2022) on how cancer cells move and metastasize is influenced by the fluids surrounding them gives insights into how fluids affect cell migration. The amount of water traveling in and out of a cell causes it to shrink or swell, inducing movement by translocating different parts of the cell. Better treatments for pancreatic cancer The researchers in the cell migration lab are studying how cancer cells interact with endothelial cells, which are the cells that create your blood vessels. 

One of the ways cancer cells can metastasize in the body is by going into the blood vessels. Once inside, the cancer cells can go very far, very quickly throughout the body as they are, Jacquemet (September 28, 2022) reports that one of the main reasons why cancer is so deadly is because cancer cells can escape the tumors where they originate from and move throughout the body. The objective is to track and understand the movements of the cells to prevent them from spreading. We want to know how the cancer cells can, once in the circulatory system, attach to the side of, cross the boundary into the blood vessel, and create a metastatic lesion. 

Chi (2016) explains that bits of DNA constantly flood the bloodstream. Genetic material flows in the bloodstream of healthy people and could come from anywhere in the body. However, when there are tumors in the body, circulating tumor cells (CTCs) are cells that shed from the primary tumor and migrate through fluids such as the blood system responsible for spreading cancer cells. Sensitive detection of CTCs from clinical samples can be an effective tool in cancer diagnosis and prognosis through liquid biopsy. 

Jones (December 5, 2022) reported that “generally speaking, various forms of cancer are often detected way too late.” Today, we see liquid biopsy as part of the standard of care in tissue genotyping for patients with advanced cancer. Liquid biopsy screening tests can find types of cancer breast, colon, cervical, advanced prostate, and lung. A key component to fighting cancer is early cancer detection. 

Blood-based liquid biopsy technology provides a quick and noninvasive way to analyze tumors using biomarkers circulating in the blood. Cell migration through surrounding bodily fluids offers a pathway for information by the latest medical tests now available. However, medical science still understands how cancers evolve and migrate through the body. The Narrative Matters!


Chi, K. R. (2016). The tumour trail left in blood. Nature, 532(7598), 269-271.

Deng, Z., Wu, S., Wang, Y., & Shi, D. (2022). Circulating tumor cell isolation for cancer diagnosis and prognosis. EBioMedicine83, 104237.

Jacquemet, G. (September 28, 2022). Understanding cell movement is a step towards cancer treatments | Åbo Akademi University (

Jones, L. (December 5, 2022). Cancer Screening: Detecting Cancer Early with Liquid Biopsy Technology. The Narrative Matters. St. Louis, MO Cancer screening: Detecting cancer early with liquid biopsy technology – The Narrative Matters

Li, Yizeng. (2022). How cancer cells move and metastasize is influenced by the fluids surrounding them – understanding how tumors migrate can help stop their spread – St. Louis Argus (

Image by National Cancer Institute

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