Factors involved in cancer metastasis: a better understanding to “seed and soil” hypothesis

Research paper by Qiang Liu, Hongfei Zhang, Xiaoli Jiang, Caiyun Qian, Zhuoqi Liu, Daya Luo

Indexed on: 03 Dec '17Published on: 02 Dec '17Published in: Molecular Cancer


Metastasis has intrigued researchers for more than 100 years. Despite the development of technologies and therapeutic strategies, metastasis is still the major cause of cancer-related death until today. The famous “seed and soil” hypothesis is widely cited and accepted, and it still provides significant instructions in cancer research until today. To our knowledge, there are few reviews that comprehensively and correlatively focus on both the seed and soil factors involved in cancer metastasis; moreover, despite the fact that increasingly underlying mechanisms and concepts have been defined recently, previous perspectives are appealing but may be limited. Hence, we reviewed factors involved in cancer metastasis, including both seed and soil factors. By integrating new concepts with the classic hypothesis, we aim to provide a comprehensive understanding of the “seed and soil” hypothesis and to conceptualize the framework for understanding factors involved in cancer metastasis. Based on a dynamic overview of this field, we also discuss potential implications for future research and clinical therapeutic strategies.