The organ microenvironment and cancer metastasis

Differentiation. 2002 Dec;70(9-10):498-505. doi: 10.1046/j.1432-0436.2002.700904.x.


Primary neoplasms are biologically heterogeneous and the process of metastasis consists of a series of sequential, selective steps that few cells can complete. The outcome of cancer metastasis depends on multiple interactions between metastatic cells and homeostatic mechanisms that are unique to one or another organ microenvironment. The specific organ microenvironment determines the extent of cancer cell proliferation, angiogenesis, invasion, and survival. Therapy of metastasis should therefore be targeted not only against tumor cells, but also against the host factors that contribute to and support the progressive growth and survival of metastatic cancer cells.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Communication*
  • Cell Division
  • Cell Movement
  • Humans
  • Interferons / biosynthesis
  • Interferons / genetics
  • Interferons / metabolism
  • Matrix Metalloproteinase 9 / metabolism
  • Mice
  • Neoplasm Metastasis* / genetics
  • Neoplasm Metastasis* / pathology
  • Neovascularization, Pathologic* / genetics


  • Interferons
  • Matrix Metalloproteinase 9