Recent advances in understanding the complexities of metastasis

F1000Res. 2018 Aug 1;7:F1000 Faculty Rev-1169. doi: 10.12688/f1000research.15064.2. eCollection 2018.


Tumour metastasis is a dynamic and systemic process. It is no longer seen as a tumour cell-autonomous program but as a multifaceted and complex series of events, which is influenced by the intrinsic cellular mutational burden of cancer cells and the numerous bidirectional interactions between malignant and non-malignant cells and fine-tuned by the various extrinsic cues of the extracellular matrix. In cancer biology, metastasis as a process is one of the most technically challenging aspects of cancer biology to study. As a result, new platforms and technologies are continually being developed to better understand this process. In this review, we discuss some of the recent advances in metastasis and how the information gleaned is re-shaping our understanding of metastatic dissemination.

Keywords: Biosensors; Cancer; Cancer Therapy; Circulating Tumour Cells; Colonisation; Disseminated Tumour Cells; Dormancy; Extracellular Matrix; Extravasation; Intravasation; Intravital Imaging; Invasion; Metastasis; Microenvironment; Migration; Mouse Models; Tumour Stroma.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Movement
  • Humans
  • Neoplasm Invasiveness
  • Neoplasm Metastasis*
  • Neoplasms / blood
  • Neoplasms / pathology
  • Neoplastic Cells, Circulating / pathology

Grant support

The authors are supported by the National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia, Susan G. Komen for the Cure (CCR17483294), National Breast Cancer Foundation, Cancer Institute NSW, the Australian Research Council, a Len Ainsworth Pancreatic Cancer Fellowship, Cancer Council NSW, St Vincent’s Clinic Foundation, Sydney Catalyst and Tour de Cure. This project was made possible by an Avner Pancreatic Cancer Foundation grant.