The metastatic niche: adapting the foreign soil

Nat Rev Cancer. 2009 Apr;9(4):285-93. doi: 10.1038/nrc2621.


The 'seed and soil' hypothesis for metastasis sets forth the concept that a conducive microenvironment, or niche, is required for disseminating tumour cells to engraft distant sites. This Opinion presents emerging data that support this concept and outlines the potential mechanism and temporal sequence by which changes occur in tissues distant from the primary tumour. To enable improvements in the prognosis of advanced malignancy, early interventions that target both the disseminating seed and the metastatic soil are likely to be required.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Bone Marrow Cells / pathology
  • Humans
  • Models, Biological
  • Neoplasm Metastasis*
  • Neoplasms / blood supply
  • Neoplasms / pathology*