Dan Robitzski in The Scientist:
Typically, if a cell gets squeezed too hard, it dies. But for a metastasizing cancer cell, the process of squeezing through the narrow channels of the circulatory system may trigger a series of mutations that help the cell stave off programmed cell death while also evading the immune system, according to in vitro and mouse research published in eLife in March. In the experiment, cell nuclei burst open as the cells squeezed their way through a narrow channel, rendering themselves susceptible to various mutations. In general, this suite of changes helped the migrating cancer survive metastasis, which is an otherwise risky journey for a cell to take. However, it’s not yet clear whether this same process occurs in humans, as the mouse model lacked an immune response and the artificial channels in vitro were imperfect models of human blood vessels.