Stephen Paget and the 'seed and soil' theory of metastatic dissemination

D. Ribatti, G. Mangialardi, A. Vacca

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)145-149
Number of pages5
JournalClinical and Experimental Medicine
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2006


  • History of medicine
  • Metastasis
  • Tumour growth

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Clinical Biochemistry


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