Evolution of tumor cell heterogeneity during progressive growth of individual lung metastases

G. Poste, J. Tzeng, J. Doll, R. Greig, D. Rieman, I. Zeidman

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134 Scopus citations


The metastatic properties of tumor cell clones isolated from individual lesions of B16 melanoma metastatic to lung have been examined at different stages in the evolution of metastasis. Clonal analysis of metastatic lesions produced by B16 melanoma populations containing clones with identifiable, stable drug-resistance markers revealed that the majority (>80%) of experimental metastases produced by intravenous injection of tumor cells are of unicellular origin. During the early stages of their growth (<25 days after initial tumor cell arrest), the majority of metastatic lesions contain cells with indistinguishable metastatic phenotypes (intralesional clonal homogeneity) although different clonally homogeneous lesions from the same host contain tumor cells with different metastatic phenotypes (interlesional clonal heterogeneity). Progressive growth of metastatic lesions is accompanied by emergence, within originally clonally homogeneous lesions, of variant tumor cells with altered metastatic properties (intralesional clonal heterogeneity). By 40-45 days after initial arrest of injected tumor cells in the lung, 90% of the metastatic lesions are populated by cells with heterogeneous metastatic phenotypes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6574-6578
Number of pages5
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number21 I
StatePublished - 1982
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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