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Organotropism is the tendency of a pathogen, a metastatic tumor, a drug, or an agent to favor a particular organ or tissue over other bodily parts. This is because it has a special affinity for such organ or tissue. For example, metastatic cells seem to show preference over certain organs. In the 18th century, a study on the various breast cancer cases revealed a pattern indicating how the tumor cells metastasized and in which organs. Accordingly, some organs seemed to be more susceptible to metastases than others. Thus, the establishment of certain tumor cells in organ sites can be delineated as nonrandom. Metastatic tumors also tend to have a gene signature, which can be determined by genomic analysis. This signature could be used to predict the organs at which they may next establish at. Synonym: organotropy.

See also


  1. Paget S (1989) The distribution of secondary growths in cancer of the breast. 1889. Cancer metastasis reviews 8(2):98-101.
  2. Choy, C. (2015). Organotropism: the Propensity for Cells to Metastasize to Certain Organs | METAvivor. (2015). Retrieved from website:

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