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Nat Cell Biol. 2014 Aug;16(8):717-27. doi: 10.1038/ncb3015.

The tumour-induced systemic environment as a critical regulator of cancer progression and metastasis.

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  • 1Hematology Division, Brigham and Women's Hospital, and Department of Medicine, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, 02115, USA; the Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT, Cambridge, Massachusetts, 02142, USA; and the Harvard Stem Cell Institute, Cambridge, Massachusetts, 02138, USA.
  • 2Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research, the Department of Biology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and the MIT Ludwig Center for Molecular Oncology, Cambridge, Massachusetts, 02142, USA.


Recent pre-clinical and clinical research has provided evidence that cancer progression is driven not only by a tumour's underlying genetic alterations and paracrine interactions within the tumour microenvironment, but also by complex systemic processes. We review these emerging paradigms of cancer pathophysiology and discuss how a clearer understanding of systemic regulation of cancer progression could guide development of new therapeutic modalities and efforts to prevent disease relapse following initial diagnosis and treatment.

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