Cancer Cell 2017 Aug;32(2):135-154
Department of Radiation Oncology, Weill Cornell Medical College, New York, NY 10065, USA; Sandra and Edward Meyer Cancer Center, New York, NY 10065, USA; Université Paris Descartes/Paris V, 75006 Paris, France. Electronic address:
The metastatic spread of malignant cells to distant anatomical locations is a prominent cause of cancer-related death. Metastasis is governed by cancer-cell-intrinsic mechanisms that enable neoplastic cells to invade the local microenvironment, reach the circulation, and colonize distant sites, including the so-called epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition. Moreover, metastasis is regulated by microenvironmental and systemic processes, such as immunosurveillance. Here, we outline the cancer-cell-intrinsic and -extrinsic factors that regulate metastasis, discuss the key role of natural killer (NK) cells in the control of metastatic dissemination, and present potential therapeutic approaches to prevent or target metastatic disease by harnessing NK cells.