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EMT in cancer

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Abstract

Similar to embryonic development, changes in cell phenotypes defined as an epithelial to mesenchymal transition (EMT) have been shown to play a role in the tumorigenic process. Although the first description of EMT in cancer was in cell cultures, evidence for its role in vivo is now widely reported but also actively debated. Moreover, current research has exemplified just how complex this phenomenon is in cancer, leaving many exciting, open questions for researchers to answer in the future. With these points in mind, we asked four scientists for their opinions on the role of EMT in cancer and the challenges faced by scientists working in this fast-moving field.

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Acknowledgements

R.K. thanks all the students, postdoctoral fellows and scientists in his laboratory who contributed to the research on EMT. Work in M.A.N.'s laboratory is funded by the European Research Council (ERC AdG322694) and BFU2014-53128-R. R.A.W. acknowledges funding received from the Ludwig Center of Molecular Oncology and the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.

Author information

Affiliations

  1. Thomas Brabletz is at the Department of Experimental Medicine 1, Nikolaus-Fiebiger Center for Molecular Medicine, FAU University Erlangen-Nürnberg, Glückstr. 6, 91054 Erlangen, Germany.

    • Thomas Brabletz
  2. Raghu Kalluri is at the Department of Cancer Biology, Metastasis Research Center, University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas 77054, USA.

    • Raghu Kalluri
  3. M. Angela Nieto is at the Instituto de Neurociencias CSIC-UMH, Avda. Ramón y Cajal s/n, 03550 San Juan de Alicante, Spain.

    • M. Angela Nieto
  4. Robert A. Weinberg is at the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research, Ludwig Massachusetts Institute for Technology (MIT) Center for Molecular Oncology and MIT Department of Biology, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02142, USA.

    • Robert A. Weinberg

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Competing interests

T.B., R.K. and M.A.N. declare no competing financial interests. R.A.W. has an interest in and is on the scientific advisory board for Verastem Inc.

Corresponding authors

Correspondence to Thomas Brabletz or Raghu Kalluri or M. Angela Nieto or Robert A. Weinberg.