Tumor-host interaction in non-random metastatic pattern distribution

Bull Cancer. 1996 Jan;83(1):27-38.


In the clinical evolution of malign tumors, prognosis depends on whether metastasis develops or not. Biologically speaking, the formation of metastasis implies the existence of tumor cells capable of successfully performing all the steps in the metastatic process: local invasion, lymphatic or hematogenous dissemination, arrest in the microvascular bed of an organ, extravasation and growth of a secondary colony. Clinical observations have demonstrated that for each primary tumor there is a colonization pattern determined by the characteristics of the microvascular endothelium and the functional environment of the target organ. Moreover, the formation of metastasis depends on at least two additional factors: a) tumor cell-tumor cell and tumor cell-host cell relations modulated by intercellular contact and/or soluble paracrine or autocrine growth factors; b) the antitumor efficiency of the immune system, mediated primarily by the action of NK/LAK cells, macrophages and cytolytic T-lymphocytes, whose activity is in turn regulated by a complex of cytokines, including interferons, tumor necrosis factors and interleukins. In this work, we first review certain aspects of tumor biology that are specifically involved in tumor cell-host cell interactions determining non-random metastatic pattern distribution, and then review the implication of certain cytokines in the regulation of tumor proliferation.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cytokines / immunology
  • Cytokines / pharmacology
  • Cytokines / therapeutic use
  • Cytotoxicity, Immunologic
  • Endothelium, Vascular / physiopathology
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic
  • Humans
  • Mice
  • Neoplasm Invasiveness
  • Neoplasm Metastasis / physiopathology*
  • Neoplastic Cells, Circulating
  • Organ Specificity


  • Cytokines