Disseminated tumor cells (DTCs) are known to enter a state of dormancy that is achieved via growth arrest of DTCs and/or a form of population equilibrium state, strongly influenced by the organ microenvironment. During this time, expansion of residual disseminated cancer is paused and DTCs survive to fuel relapse, sometimes decades later. This notion has opened a new window of opportunity for intervening and preventing relapse. Here we review recent data that have further augmented the understanding of cancer dormancy and discuss how this is leading to new strategies for monitoring and targeting dormant cancer.
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