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Unifying metastasis — integrating intravasation, circulation and end-organ colonization


Recent technological advances that have enabled the measurement of circulating tumour cells (CTCs) in patients have spurred interest in the circulatory phase of metastasis. Techniques that do not solely rely on a blood sample allow substantial biological interrogation beyond simply counting CTCs.

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Figure 1: A simplified representation of the human vascular system connecting representative organs with a primary tumour in the liver.


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The authors would like to thank K. Kadyshevskaya for her help with the figure. This work was supported by PS-06 grant numbers US4CA143970 and US4CA143906 from the National Cancer Institute (NCI), USA. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the views of the NCI.

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Correspondence to Jacob Scott or Alexander R. A. Anderson.

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The authors declare no competing financial interests.

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Scott, J., Kuhn, P. & Anderson, A. Unifying metastasis — integrating intravasation, circulation and end-organ colonization. Nat Rev Cancer 12, 445–446 (2012).

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