Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.


The to and fro of tumour spread

Two studies shed light on the role of cellular transitions between the epithelial and mesenchymal states during cancer metastasis, and provide food for thought as to which cellular processes should be targeted in cancer treatment.

Access options

Rent or Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.


All prices are NET prices.

Figure 1: Cellular transitions in cancer metastasis.


  1. 1

    Fidler, I. J. Semin. Cancer Biol. 21, 71 (2011).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  2. 2

    Tsai, J. H., Donaher, J. L., Murphy, D. A., Chau, S. & Yang, J. Cancer Cell 22, 725–736 (2012).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  3. 3

    Ocaña, O. H. et al. Cancer Cell 22, 709–724 (2012).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  4. 4

    Tarin, D., Thompson, E. W. & Newgreen, D. F. Cancer Res. 65, 5996–6000 (2005).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  5. 5

    Thompson, E. W. & Haviv, I. Nature Med. 17, 1048–1049 (2011).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  6. 6

    Thiery, J. P. Nature Rev. Cancer 2, 442–454 (2002).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  7. 7

    Gunasinghe, N. P., Wells, A., Thompson, E. W. & Hugo, H. J. Cancer Metastasis Rev. 31, 469–478 (2012).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  8. 8

    Yang, J. et al. Cell 117, 927–939 (2004).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  9. 9

    Hollier, B. G., Evans, K. & Mani, S. A. J. Mammary Gland Biol. Neoplasia 14, 29–43 (2009).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  10. 10

    Celia-Terrassa, T. et al. J. Clin. Invest. 122, 1849–1868 (2012).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  11. 11

    Sarrio, D., Franklin, C. K., Mackay, A., Reis-Filho, J. S. & Isacke, C. M. Stem Cells 30, 292–303 (2012).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  12. 12

    Lee, J. M., Dedhar, S., Kalluri, R. & Thompson, E. W. J. Cell Biol. 172, 973–981 (2006).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  13. 13

    Klymkowsky, M. W. & Savagner, P. Am. J. Pathol. 174, 1588–1593 (2009).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  14. 14

    Tsuji, T. et al. Cancer Res. 68, 10377–10386 (2008).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information



Corresponding authors

Correspondence to Bryce J. W. van Denderen or Erik W. Thompson.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

van Denderen, B., Thompson, E. The to and fro of tumour spread. Nature 493, 487–488 (2013).

Download citation

Further reading


Quick links