The tumour-induced systemic environment as a critical regulator of cancer progression and metastasis

Nat Cell Biol. 2014 Aug;16(8):717-27. doi: 10.1038/ncb3015.


Recent pre-clinical and clinical research has provided evidence that cancer progression is driven not only by a tumour's underlying genetic alterations and paracrine interactions within the tumour microenvironment, but also by complex systemic processes. We review these emerging paradigms of cancer pathophysiology and discuss how a clearer understanding of systemic regulation of cancer progression could guide development of new therapeutic modalities and efforts to prevent disease relapse following initial diagnosis and treatment.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bone Marrow / pathology
  • Bone Marrow / physiopathology
  • Cell-Derived Microparticles / physiology
  • Cytokines / physiology
  • Disease Progression
  • Growth Substances / physiology
  • Humans
  • Models, Biological
  • Neoplasm Metastasis / immunology
  • Neoplasm Metastasis / pathology
  • Neoplasm Metastasis / physiopathology*
  • Neovascularization, Pathologic
  • Spleen / pathology
  • Spleen / physiopathology
  • Systems Biology
  • Tumor Microenvironment / immunology
  • Tumor Microenvironment / physiology*


  • Cytokines
  • Growth Substances