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The Lymph Node Microenvironment in Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia


Simon D Wagner, PhD, FRCP, Matthew J Ahearne, MRCP, and Shaun Willimott, PhD

One of the early observations in cancer biology was that avian cells transformed by Rous sarcoma virus lost the ability to adhere and consequently adopted a rounded morphology. This was not an epiphenomenon but a direct effect of the viral Src oncogene causing reduced production of fibronectin, a basement membrane component, and consequent loss of signals inhibiting cell growth [1,2]. This example serves to show that the relationship between a malignant (or transformed cell) and its environment is a general feature of cancers and is a two-way process: the environment provides signals to the cell, and the cell can also influence the nature of its environment.

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