Unique Metabolic Adaptations Dictate Distal Organ-Specific Metastatic Colonization

Cancer Cell. 2018 Mar 12;33(3):347-354. doi: 10.1016/j.ccell.2018.02.001.


Metastases arising from tumors have the proclivity to colonize specific organs, suggesting that they must rewire their biology to meet the demands of the organ colonized, thus altering their primary properties. Each metastatic site presents distinct metabolic challenges to a colonizing cancer cell, ranging from fuel and oxygen availability to oxidative stress. Here, we discuss the organ-specific metabolic adaptations that cancer cells must undergo, which provide the ability to overcome the unique barriers to colonization in foreign tissues and establish the metastatic tissue tropism phenotype.

Keywords: cancer; metabolism; metastasis; tissue tropism.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Physiological / physiology*
  • Animals
  • Brain / metabolism*
  • Brain / pathology
  • Humans
  • Liver / metabolism
  • Liver / pathology
  • Lung / metabolism*
  • Lung / pathology
  • Neoplasm Metastasis / pathology*
  • Tumor Microenvironment / physiology*