[Encounter of cancer cells with bone. The significance of cancer stem cells and epithelial-mesenchymal transition in tumor invasion and metastasis]

Go J Yoshida, Hideyuki Saya
Clinical Calcium 2011, 21 (3): 411-7
Cancer stem cells (CSCs) , which are subset of tumor cells resistant to radiation and chemotherapy, are associated with malignant characteristics of tumor and possess both self-renewal ability and pluripotency for tumor formation. In the process of generating non-CSCs from CSCs, gene mutations and epigenetic changes are induced in those cells, resulting in composition of tumor tissue with heterogeneous cell population. CSCs have been recognized as the source of metastatic foci. Epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) is a change in cellular phenotype characterized by the loss of cell-to-cell adhesions and the gain of migratory behaviors,which has been shown to be a critical factor for initiating cancer invasion and metastasis. However, some recent studies suggest that EMT is not essential requirement for tumor invasion and metastasis. Herein, we discuss the biological significance of CSCs and EMT in tumor invasion and metastasis.

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