The human chemokine receptor CXCR4 has been known since the mid-1990s as a co-factor for the entry of HIV into cells. New findings reported last week by DNAX Research Institute implicate CXCR4 and another chemokine receptor, CCR7, in cancer metastasis.

DNAX researchers published in Nature that breast cancer cells selectively express CXCR4 and CCR7, and provided evidence that those receptors have a role in targeting metastases to specific organs. These results suggest that chemokines and the G protein-coupled chemokine receptors may provide a new set of targets for cancer treatment. The scientists noted that other cancers, including leukemias and melanoma, have distinct patterns