Next Article in Journal
Parentage-Based Group Composition and Dispersal Pattern Studies of the Yangtze Finless Porpoise Population in Poyang Lake
Next Article in Special Issue
Circulating Tumor Cells (CTC) and Cell-Free DNA (cfDNA) Workshop 2016: Scientific Opportunities and Logistics for Cancer Clinical Trial Incorporation
Previous Article in Journal
ST6GALNAC5 Expression Decreases the Interactions between Breast Cancer Cells and the Human Blood-Brain Barrier
Previous Article in Special Issue
Droplet Digital PCR Based Androgen Receptor Variant 7 (AR-V7) Detection from Prostate Cancer Patient Blood Biopsies
Article Menu
Issue 8 (August) cover image

Export Article

Open AccessReview
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2016, 17(8), 1308;

The Significance of Epithelial-to-Mesenchymal Transition for Circulating Tumor Cells

Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics, LMU Munich, Maistrasse 11, 80337 Munich, Germany
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Dario Marchetti
Received: 30 June 2016 / Revised: 2 August 2016 / Accepted: 4 August 2016 / Published: 11 August 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Circulating Tumor Cells)
Full-Text   |   PDF [1431 KB, uploaded 11 August 2016]   |  


Epithelial to mesenchymal transition (EMT) is a process involved in embryonic development, but it also plays a role in remote metastasis formation in tumor diseases. During this process cells lose their epithelial features and adopt characteristics of mesenchymal cells. Thereby single tumor cells, which dissolve from the primary tumor, are enabled to invade the blood vessels and travel throughout the body as so called “circulating tumor cells” (CTCs). After leaving the blood stream the reverse process of EMT, the mesenchymal to epithelial transition (MET) helps the cells to seed in different tissues, thereby generating the bud of metastasis formation. As metastasis is the main reason for tumor-associated death, CTCs and the EMT process are in the focus of research in recent years. This review summarizes what was already found out about the molecular mechanisms driving EMT, the consequences of EMT for tumor cell detection, and suitable markers for the detection of CTCs which underwent EMT. The research work done in this field could open new roads towards combating cancer. View Full-Text
Keywords: circulating tumor cells; epithelial to mesenchymal transition; marker; prognosis; cancer; metastasis circulating tumor cells; epithelial to mesenchymal transition; marker; prognosis; cancer; metastasis

Graphical abstract

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

Kölbl, A.C.; Jeschke, U.; Andergassen, U. The Significance of Epithelial-to-Mesenchymal Transition for Circulating Tumor Cells. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2016, 17, 1308.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Related Articles

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics



[Return to top]
Int. J. Mol. Sci. EISSN 1422-0067 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top