Recent evidence indicates that metastatic capacity is an inherent feature of breast tumours and not a rare, late acquired event. This has led to new models of metastasis. The interpretation of expression-profiling data in the context of these new models has identified the cofilin pathway as a major determinant of metastasis. Recent studies indicate that the overall activity of the cofilin pathway, and not that of any single gene within the pathway, determines the invasive and metastatic phenotype of tumour cells. These results predict that inhibitors directed at the output of the cofilin pathway will have therapeutic benefit in combating metastasis.