Clinical and Experimental Medicine

, Volume 6, Issue 4, pp 145–149

Stephen Paget and the ‘seed and soil’ theory of metastatic dissemination


DOI: 10.1007/s10238-006-0117-4

Cite this article as:
Ribatti, D., Mangialardi, G. & Vacca, A. Clin. Exper.Med. (2006) 6: 145. doi:10.1007/s10238-006-0117-4


The outcome of cancer metastasis depends on multiple interactions between selected metastatic cells and homeostatic mechanisms unique to some organ microenvironments. The English surgeon Stephen Paget (1855–1926) is credited with being the first to postulate the important role played by microenvironment in metastasis formation. The concept of his ‘seed and soil’ theory has been supported and confirmed by numerous publications. This review article summarises the most important literature data about this matter.

Key words

History of medicineMetastasisTumour growth

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Italia 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Human Anatomy and HistologyUniversity of Bari Medical SchoolBariItaly
  2. 2.Department of Biomedical Sciences and Human OncologyUniversity of Bari Medical SchoolBariItaly