Immune cells as mediators of solid tumor metastasis

David G. DeNardo, Magnus Johansson, Lisa M. Coussens

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

304 Scopus citations


Outgrowths of disseminated metastases remain the primary cause of mortality in cancer patients; however, molecular and cellular mechanisms regulating metastatic spread remain largely elusive. Recent insights into these mechanisms have refined the seed and soil hypothesis and it is now recognized that metastasis of solid tumors requires collaborative interactions between malignant cells and a diverse assortment of "activated" stromal cells at both primary and secondary tumor locations. Specifically, persistent pro-tumor immune responses (inflammation), now generally accepted as potentiating primary tumor development, are also being recognized as mediators of cancer metastasis. Thus, novel anti-cancer therapeutic strategies targeting molecular and/or cellular mechanisms regulating these collaborative interactions may provide efficacious relief for metastatic disease. This review focuses on recent literature revealing new mechanisms whereby immune cells regulate metastatic progression, with a primary focus on breast cancer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)11-18
Number of pages8
JournalCancer and Metastasis Reviews
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Breast cancer
  • Inflammation
  • Metastasis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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