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Nat Rev Cancer. 2011 Sep 23;11(10):735-48. doi: 10.1038/nrc3125.

Unravelling the complexity of metastasis - molecular understanding and targeted therapies.

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Department of Molecular Biology, Washington Road, LTL 255, Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey 08544, USA.


Despite recognizing the devastating consequences of metastasis, we are not yet able to effectively treat cancer that has spread to vital organs. The inherent complexity of genomic alterations in late-stage cancers, coupled with numerous heterotypic interactions that occur between tumour and stromal cells, represent fundamental challenges in our quest to understand and control metastatic disease. The incorporation of genomic and other systems level approaches, as well as technological breakthroughs in imaging and animal modelling, have galvanized the effort to overcome gaps in our understanding of metastasis. Future research carries with it the potential to translate the wealth of new knowledge and conceptual advances into effective targeted therapies.

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