Tumor-associated macrophages are known contributors of tumor progression in the primary tumor via multiple mechanisms. However, recent studies have demonstrated the ability of macrophages to promote secondary tumor development by inhibiting tumoricidal immune response, initiating angiogenesis, remodeling the local matrix, and directly communicating with cancer cells. In this review, we discuss macrophage functions in establishing distant metastases including formation of the premetastatic niche, extravasation of circulating cancer cells, and colonization of secondary metastases. A more thorough understanding of metastasis-associated macrophages and their associated mechanisms of metastatic progression may lead to novel therapeutic intervention to prevent further metastatic development and tumor reseeding.
- metastatic niche