Distant Relations: Macrophage Functions in the Metastatic Niche

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81 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)445-459
Number of pages15
JournalTrends in Cancer
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2018

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors would like to acknowledge funding support from the National Cancer Institute through grants R21CA205455 (D.K.W.), R01CA215052 (K.L.S.), and U54CA210190 (D.K.W. and K.L.S.). G.R.D. is partially supported by a fellowship form Minnesota’s Discovery, Research, and Innovation Economy.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 Elsevier Inc.


  • cancer
  • extravasation
  • macrophage
  • metastasis
  • metastatic niche


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