General mechanisms of metastasis

Cancer. 1997 Oct 15;80(8 Suppl):1529-37. doi: 10.1002/(sici)1097-0142(19971015)80:8+<1529::aid-cncr2>;2-#.


In the present article, the steps involved in the process of tumor metastasis are discussed. Several events are required for malignant cells to leave the primary tumor and proliferate at a distant site: vessel formation (angiogenesis), cell attachment, invasion (matrix degradation, cell motility), and cell proliferation. Molecular mechanisms underlying each of these steps are described. Based on blocking these processes, new anti-metastasis therapies are being developed.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Bone Neoplasms / secondary
  • Cell Adhesion
  • Cell Adhesion Molecules / physiology
  • Growth Substances / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Neoplasm Invasiveness*
  • Neoplasm Metastasis* / pathology
  • Neovascularization, Pathologic* / metabolism
  • Neovascularization, Pathologic* / pathology
  • Tissue Inhibitor of Metalloproteinases / physiology


  • Cell Adhesion Molecules
  • Growth Substances
  • Tissue Inhibitor of Metalloproteinases