It is becoming increasingly evident that cell adhesion is an important determinant of organised growth and the maintenance of architectural integrity. Indeed, reduced adhesiveness between cells and with the extracellular matrix is a hallmark of neoplastic growth. In neuroendocrine tissues, neural cell adhesion molecule is implicated in modulating cell growth, migration, and differentiation. This review will focus on the molecular pathways involving key growth factor receptors that govern normal adhesive forces. The extent to which disruption of these adhesive forces contributes to the tumorigenic process in neuroendocrine tissues will be highlighted. Validation of the functional relevance of these adhesive pathways will be discussed in light of targeted pharmacotherapeutic studies that are unmasking novel approaches to the treatment of neuroendocrine tumours.
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