Cancer Microenvironment

, Volume 6, Issue 3, pp 213–230

Biological resonance for cancer metastasis, a new hypothesis based on comparisons between primary cancers and metastases

Review Paper


Many hypotheses have been proposed to try to explain cancer metastasis. However, they seem to be contradictory and have some limitations. Comparisons of primary tumors and matched metastases provide new insight into metastasis. The results show high concordances and minor differences at multiple scales from organic level to molecular level. The concordances reflect the commonality between primary cancer and metastasis, and also mean that metastatic cancer cells derived from primary cancer are quite conservative in distant sites. The differences reflect variation that cancer cells must acquire new traits to adapt to foreign milieu during the course of evolving into a new tumor in second organs. These comparisons also provided new information on understanding mechanism of vascular metastasis, organ-specific metastasis, and tumor dormancy. The collective results suggest a new hypothesis, biological resonance (bio-resonance) model. The hypothesis has two aspects. One is that primary cancer and matched metastasis have a common progenitor. The other is that both ancestors of primary cancer cells and metastatic cancer cells are under similar microenvironments and receive similar or same signals. When their interactions reach a status similar to primary cancer, metastasis will occur. Compared with previous hypotheses, the bio-resonance hypothesis seems to be more applicable for cancer metastasis to explain how, when and where metastasis occurs. Thus, it has important implications for individual prediction, prevention and treatment of cancer metastasis.


Primary cancer Metastasis Similarity Difference Biological resonance (bio-resonance) model 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.536 Hospital of PLAXiningPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.Department of Radiation OncologyLanzhou General Hospital of PLALanzhouPeople’s Republic of China

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