Molecular basis of metastasis

N Engl J Med. 2008 Dec 25;359(26):2814-23. doi: 10.1056/NEJMra0805239.


Metastasis is the end product of an evolutionary process in which diverse interactions between cancer cells and their microenvironment yield alterations that allow these cells to transcend their programmed behavior. Tumor cells thus populate and flourish in new tissue habitats and, ultimately, cause organ dysfunction and death. Understanding the many molecular players and processes involved in metastasis could lead to effective, targeted approaches to prevent and treat cancer metastasis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antineoplastic Agents / pharmacology
  • Cell Communication
  • Cell Movement
  • Extracellular Matrix
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic
  • Humans
  • Models, Biological
  • Neoplasm Invasiveness
  • Neoplasm Metastasis* / genetics
  • Neoplasm Metastasis* / pathology
  • Neoplasm Metastasis* / prevention & control
  • Neoplastic Stem Cells
  • Neovascularization, Pathologic


  • Antineoplastic Agents