Nature Reviews Cancer 11, 573-587 (August 2011) | doi:10.1038/nrc3078

Chemotaxis in cancer

Evanthia T. Roussos1, John S. Condeelis1 & Antonia Patsialou1  About the authors


Chemotaxis of tumour cells and stromal cells in the surrounding microenvironment is an essential component of tumour dissemination during progression and metastasis. This Review summarizes how chemotaxis directs the different behaviours of tumour cells and stromal cells in vivo, how molecular pathways regulate chemotaxis in tumour cells and how chemotaxis choreographs cell behaviour to shape the tumour microenvironment and to determine metastatic spread. The central importance of chemotaxis in cancer progression is highlighted by discussion of the use of chemotaxis as a prognostic marker, a treatment end point and a target of therapeutic intervention.

Author affiliations

  1. Department of Anatomy and Structural Biology, Program in Tumor Microenvironment and Metastasis, Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University, Bronx, New York 10461, USA.

Correspondence to: John S. Condeelis1 Email:

Correspondence to: Antonia Patsialou1 Email:

Published online 22 July 2011