Metastatic niche functions and therapeutic opportunities.
Metastasis is an inefficient process, especially during colonization at a distant organ. This bottleneck underlies the importance of the metastatic niche for seeding and outgrowth of metastases. Here, we classify the common functions of different metastatic niches: anchorage, survival support, protection from external insults, licensing proliferation and outgrowth. We highlight the emerging role of the metastatic niche in maintaining cancer stemness and promoting immune evasion, and discuss therapeutic opportunities against the metastatic niche.