Revisiting the seed and soil in cancer metastasis.

Research paper by Martin M Mendoza, Chand C Khanna

Indexed on: 30 Apr '09Published on: 30 Apr '09Published in: The International Journal of Biochemistry & Cell Biology


Metastasis remains the overwhelming cause of death for cancer patients. During metastasis, cancer cells will leave the primary tumor, intravasate into the bloodstream, arrest at a distant organ, and eventually develop into gross lesions at the secondary sites. This intricate process is influenced by innumerable factors and complex cellular interactions described in 1889 by Stephen Paget as the seed and soil hypothesis. In this review, we revisit this seed and soil hypothesis with an emerging understanding of the cancer cell (i.e. seed) and its microenvironment (i.e. soil). We will provide background to suggest that a critical outcome of the seed-soil interaction is resistance of the stresses that would otherwise impede metastasis.