Current challenges in metastasis research and future innovation for clinical translation

Clin Exp Metastasis. 2022 Apr;39(2):263-277. doi: 10.1007/s10585-021-10144-5. Epub 2022 Jan 24.


While immense strides have been made in understanding tumor biology and in developing effective treatments that have substantially improved the prognosis of cancer patients, metastasis remains the major cause of cancer-related death. Improvements in the detection and treatment of primary tumors are contributing to a growing, detailed understanding of the dynamics of metastatic progression. Yet challenges remain in detecting metastatic dissemination prior to the establishment of overt metastases and in predicting which patients are at the highest risk of developing metastatic disease. Further improvements in understanding the mechanisms governing metastasis have great potential to inform the adaptation of existing therapies and the development of novel approaches to more effectively control metastatic disease. This article presents a forward-looking perspective on the challenges that remain in the treatment of metastasis, and the exciting emerging approaches that promise to transform the treatment of metastasis in cancer patients.

Keywords: Dormancy; Immunotherapy; Latency; Liquid biopsy; Metastasis; Microenvironment.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Neoplasm Metastasis
  • Neoplasms* / pathology
  • Neoplasms* / therapy
  • Prognosis