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The Role of Epithelial-to-Mesenchymal Plasticity in Ovarian Cancer Progression and Therapy Resistance

1
Molecular and Cellular Oncology Laboratory, Department of Biomedical Molecular Biology, Ghent University, Technologiepark 71, 9052 Ghent, Belgium
2
Cancer Research Institute Ghent (CRIG), 9000 Ghent, Belgium
3
Department of Gynaecologic Oncology, Ghent University Hospital, C. Heymanslaan 10, 9000 Ghent, Belgium
4
VIB Center for Inflammation Research, Technologiepark 71, 9052 Ghent, Belgium
5
Department of Medical Oncology, Ghent University Hospital, C. Heymanslaan 10, 9000 Ghent, Belgium
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Cancers 2019, 11(6), 838; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers11060838
Received: 8 May 2019 / Revised: 3 June 2019 / Accepted: 12 June 2019 / Published: 17 June 2019
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Abstract

Ovarian cancer is the most lethal of all gynecologic malignancies and the eighth leading cause of cancer-related deaths among women worldwide. The main reasons for this poor prognosis are late diagnosis; when the disease is already in an advanced stage, and the frequent development of resistance to current chemotherapeutic regimens. Growing evidence demonstrates that apart from its role in ovarian cancer progression, epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) can promote chemotherapy resistance. In this review, we will highlight the contribution of EMT to the distinct steps of ovarian cancer progression. In addition, we will review the different types of ovarian cancer resistance to therapy with particular attention to EMT-mediated mechanisms such as cell fate transitions, enhancement of cancer cell survival, and upregulation of genes related to drug resistance. Preclinical studies of anti-EMT therapies have yielded promising results. However, before anti-EMT therapies can be effectively implemented in clinical trials, more research is needed to elucidate the mechanisms leading to EMT-induced therapy resistance. View Full-Text
Keywords: ovarian cancer; epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT); mesenchymal-to-epithelial transition (MET); peritoneal metastasis; therapy resistance; cancer stem cell (CSC) ovarian cancer; epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT); mesenchymal-to-epithelial transition (MET); peritoneal metastasis; therapy resistance; cancer stem cell (CSC)
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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).
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Loret, N.; Denys, H.; Tummers, P.; Berx, G. The Role of Epithelial-to-Mesenchymal Plasticity in Ovarian Cancer Progression and Therapy Resistance. Cancers 2019, 11, 838.

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