Is There One Key Step in the Metastatic Cascade?
CREEC/CANECEV, MIVEGEC (CREES), University of Montpellier, CNRS, IRD, 34172 Montpellier, France
Centre for Integrative Ecology, School of Life and Environmental Sciences, Deakin University, Waurn Ponds, VIC 3216, Australia
Toulouse Biotechnology Institute, INSA, CNRS, INRAE, University of Toulouse, 31555 Toulouse, France
Department of Integrated Mathematical Oncology, Moffitt Cancer Center, Tampa, FL 33601, USA
Oncogenetic Department, University Medical Centre of Montpellier, 34000 Montpellier, France
School of Natural Sciences, University of Tasmania, Hobart, TAS 7000, Australia
Laboratory of Rare Human Circulating Cells (LCCRH), University Medical Centre of Montpellier, 34000 Montpellier, France
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Antoine M. Dujon & Jean-Pascal Capp contributed equally to this work.
Frédéric Thomas & Catherine Alix-Panabières contributed equally to this work.
Academic Editors: Emilie Mamessier-Birnbaum and Claire Acquaviva
Received: 6 June 2021
Revised: 17 July 2021
Accepted: 19 July 2021
Published: 22 July 2021
To successfully metastasize, cancer cells must complete a sequence of obligatory steps called the metastatic cascade. To model the metastatic cascade, we used the framework of the Drake equation, initially created to describe the emergence of intelligent life in the Milky way, using a similar logic of a sequence of obligatory steps. Then within this framework, we used simulations on breast cancer to investigate the contribution of each step to the metastatic cascade. We show that the half-life of circulating tumor cells is one of the most important parameters in the cascade, suggesting that therapies reducing the survival of those cells in the vascular system could significantly reduce the risk of metastasis.