Metastasizing capacity of tumour cells from spontaneous metastases of transplanted murine tumours

R. Giavazzi, G. Alessandri, F. Spreafico, S. Garattini, A. Mantovani

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We investigated the metastasizing capacity of spontaneous lung metastases from the MN/MCA1 and mFS6 sarcomas, the B16 melanoma and colon 26 carcinoma. Spontaneous metastases at other visceral organs (liver, spleen, kidney, ovary, uterus) from the M5076/73A (M5) ovarian carcinoma and colon 26 carcinoma were also studied. Tumour cells from individual spontaneous metastases were used immediately after isolation from the normal parenchyma (mFS6, M5 and colon 26) and/or after 1 s.c. passage in syngeneic mice (MN/MCA1, mFS6, B16 and M5). Spontaneous metastases were examined for all tumours and their secondaries after i.m. or s.c. inoculation of tumour cells; artifical lung colonies were measured after i.v. injection only of cells from the primary mFS6 and MN/MCA1 and B16 or their spontaneous metastases. Individual spontaneous metastases were to some extent heterogeneous in their metastatic potential, a minority of the secondaries having greater or lesser metastatic capacity than the appropriate primary. Overall, tumour cells from spontaneous metastases did not show greater metastasizing capacity than primary neoplasms, nor was there evidence that metastases from specific organs (e.g. spleen and kidney) tended to home to the specific anatomical sites from which they were originally isolated. These observations in a series of murine tumours of different histology, transplantation history and pattern of metastasis, do not support the hypothesis that metastases are the ultimate expression of strong selection of variant cells with greater intrinsic metastatic potential, pre-existing within the primary tumour.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)462-472
Number of pages11
JournalBritish Journal of Cancer
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1980

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology


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