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Clin Exp Med. 2006 Dec;6(4):145-9.

Stephen Paget and the 'seed and soil' theory of metastatic dissemination.

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  • 1Department of Human Anatomy and Histology, University of Bari Medical School, Piazza G. Cesare 11, Policlinico, I-70124, Bari, Italy. ribatti@anatomia.uniba.it


The outcome of cancer metastasis depends on multiple interactions between selected metastatic cells and homeostatic mechanisms unique to some organ microenvironments. The English surgeon Stephen Paget (1855-1926) is credited with being the first to postulate the important role played by microenvironment in metastasis formation. The concept of his 'seed and soil' theory has been supported and confirmed by numerous publications. This review article summarises the most important literature data about this matter.

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