Epithelial to Mesenchymal Transition in a Clinical Perspective

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

42 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Tumor growth and metastatic dissemination rely on cellular plasticity. Among the different phenotypes acquired by cancer cells, epithelial to mesenchymal transition (EMT) has been extensively illustrated. Indeed, this transition allows an epithelial polarized cell to acquire a more mesenchymal phenotype with increased mobility and invasiveness. The role of EMT is quite clear during developmental stage. In the neoplastic context in many tumors EMT has been associated with a more aggressive tumor phenotype including local invasion and distant metastasis. EMT allows the cell to invade surrounding tissues and survive in the general circulation and through a stem cell phenotype grown in the host organ. The molecular pathways underlying EMT have also been clearly defined and their description is beyond the scope of this review. Here we will summarize and analyze the attempts made to block EMT in the therapeutic context. Indeed, till today, most of the studies are made in animal models. Few clinical trials are ongoing with no obvious benefits of EMT inhibitors yet. We point out the limitations of EMT targeting such tumor heterogeneity or the dynamics of EMT during disease progression.

Original languageEnglish
Article number792182
JournalJournal of Oncology
Volume2015
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2015

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Epithelial-Mesenchymal Transition
Phenotype
Neoplasms
Disease Progression
Stem Cells
Animal Models
Epithelial Cells
Clinical Trials
Neoplasm Metastasis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology

Cite this

Epithelial to Mesenchymal Transition in a Clinical Perspective. / Pasquier, Jennifer; Abu-Kaoud, Nadine; Al Thani, Haya; Rafii, Arash.

In: Journal of Oncology, Vol. 2015, 792182, 2015.

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

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