The Genetic Evolution of Metastasis

Cancer Res. 2022 May 16;82(10):1849-1857. doi: 10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-21-3863.


Cancer is an evolutionary process that is characterized by the emergence of multiple genetically distinct populations or clones within the primary tumor. Intratumor heterogeneity provides a substrate for the selection of adaptive clones, such as those that lead to metastasis. Comparative molecular studies of primary tumors and metastases have identified distinct genomic features associated with the development of metastases. In this review, we discuss how these insights could inform clinical decision-making and uncover rational antimetastasis treatment strategies.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Evolution, Molecular
  • Genetic Heterogeneity
  • Humans
  • Mutation
  • Neoplasm Metastasis
  • Neoplasms* / genetics
  • Neoplasms* / pathology