Metastasis occurs when cells from the primary tumor escape into the bloodstream and take up residence in a different part of the body, growing into a secondary or metastatic tumor. These secondary tumors are often more aggressive, faster-growing, and more difficult to treat. For these reasons there is a strong focus in the cancer-research community to better characterize the metastatic process.
This Science supplement provides a collection of important papers in the field of metastasis research, and highlights applications for analyzing cell migration and invasion—two key steps in the metastasis process. Also included is an interview with Dr. Sara Zanivan, at the Cancer Research UK Beatson Institute, who discusses her latest research on the tumor microenvironment in the context of recent advances in the field, including potential targets for novel cancer therapies.