Metastases that are resistant to conventional therapy are the major cause of death from cancer. In most patients, metastasis has already occurred by the time of diagnosis. Thus, the prevention of metastasis is unlikely to be of therapeutic benefit. The biological heterogeneity of metastases presents a major obstacle to treatment. However, the growth and survival of metastases depend on interactions between tumor cells and host homeostatic mechanisms. Targeting these interactions, in addition to the tumor cells, can produce synergistic therapeutic effects against existing metastases.
Keywords: Biologic heterogeneity; Genetic instability; Metastasis progenitor cell; Organ microenvironment.