Lymphatic vessels in melanoma: friend or foe?

Written by Maria Stella Sasso (University of Chicago, IL, USA)

The lymphatic system The lymphatic system is composed of a network of lymphatic vessels (ranging from capillaries to larger collecting vessels), lymph nodes (LNs), spleen, thymus and other associated lymphoid organs. This system plays a critical role in regulating body fluid homeostasis, since lymphatic vessels constantly drain interstitial fluids from peripheral tissues and ultimately transport them to the blood circulation through the thoracic duct.  In addition, the lymphatic system represents a critical component of the immune system.  The fluids within the lymphatic vessels (termed lymph) transport antigens, danger signals and antigen-loaded immune cells from infection sites or neoplastic areas to...

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