Although metastases from original (primary) tumors are highly studied, metastases from metastatic sites (secondary tumors) are far less studied. Here, using data from metastasis map (MetMap) project reported in a recent study (Jin et al. in Nature 588(7837): 331-336. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41586-020-2969-2 , 2020), we found that human cancer cell lines isolated from metastatic sites have higher potential to metastasize to another site in mice, compared to human cancer cell lines isolated from primary sites, for certain types of cancer including liver, lung and pancreas cancer. In contrast, for cancer types such as ovarian and skin cancer, human cancer cell lines originated from primary tumors have increased metastatic potential in mice, compared to human cancer cell lines originated from metastatic sites. This preliminary analysis points that the potential of metastases to further metastasize compared to that of primary tumors might be cancer type-dependent, and further research is needed to understand why certain cancer cell lines isolated from metastatic sites are more likely to spread to other organs.
Keywords: Cancer; Cancer cell lines; Liver cancer; Metastasis; Metastatic potential; Primary tumor.