Metastasis articles from across Nature Portfolio

Metastasis is the spread of cancer to a part of the body distant from the original primary cancer. This occurs through the transfer of malignant or cancerous cells via lymph or blood. The new occurrences of cancer are called metastases.


Latest Research and Reviews

News and Comment

  • Comments & Opinion
    | Open Access

    Despite recent advances in breast cancer research, we still know little about the mechanisms that lead to metastatic breast cancer (MBC). However, treatment options for patients have increased based on results of recent randomized clinical trials in this setting. Today we have much hope, yet many questions remain unanswered. Conducting a fully academic and international study such as AURORA is very challenging, yet ever more crucial to advancing knowledge about MBC.

    • Carmela Caballero
    • , Alexandre Irrthum
    •  & Martine Piccart
  • Research Highlights |

    Sloan and colleagues demonstrate that anthracycline chemotherapy drives metastatic progression by stimulating a cancer cell-mediated increase in nerve fibre activity in the tumour microenvironment, which can be reversed by the use of β-blockers.

    • Daniela Senft
  • News & Views |

    In cancer, alternative polyadenylation has been shown to lead to altered 3′ UTRs with different regulatory potentials. A study now suggests a mechanism that leads to 3′ UTR lengthening and translational repression of a subset of metastasis-suppressing genes, revealing a new prospective therapeutic vulnerability.

    • Kathleen Watt
    •  & Lynne-Marie Postovit
  • Research Highlights |

    Blanpain and colleagues provide evidence that the small RHO GTPase, RHOJ, mediates resistance to chemotherapy in tumour cells that have undergone epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition by enabling these cells to tolerate replicative stress and promote DNA damage repair.

    • Anna Dart
  • News & Views |

    As we age, organs undergo architectural and functional changes that deeply affect the fate of disseminated tumor cells (DTCs). A study now adds further complexity to this picture by revealing a role for the age-induced, fibrosis-associated factor PDGF-C in enabling ER+ DTCs to reawaken in aging lungs and thrive as overt metastasis.

    • Stanislav Drapela
    •  & Ana P. Gomes
    Nature Cancer 4, 442-443
  • Research Highlights |

    Altea-Manzano et al. find that factors secreted by primary breast tumours or high-fat diet feeding enriches the fatty acid palmitate in distant organs, which primes pre-metastatic niches enabling metastatic growth.

    • Daniela Senft