Surviving at a Distance: Organ-Specific Metastasis

Trends Cancer. 2015 Sep;1(1):76-91. doi: 10.1016/j.trecan.2015.07.009. Epub 2015 Sep 28.


The clinical manifestation of metastasis in a vital organ is the final stage of cancer progression and the main culprit of cancer-related mortality. Once established, metastasis is devastating, but only a small proportion of the cancer cells that leave a tumor succeed at infiltrating, surviving, and ultimately overtaking a distant organ. The bottlenecks that challenge cancer cells in newly invaded microenvironments are organ-specific and consequently demand distinct mechanisms for metastatic colonization. We review the metastatic traits that allow cancer cells to colonize distinct organ sites.

Keywords: Cancer; metastasis; metastatic colonization; organ-specific metastasis.

Publication types

  • Review