Next Article in Journal
MicroRNAs in the Evaluation and Potential Treatment of Liver Diseases
Next Article in Special Issue
EMT in Breast Carcinoma—A Review
Previous Article in Journal / Special Issue
Tacrolimus Modulates TGF-β Signaling to Induce Epithelial-Mesenchymal Transition in Human Renal Proximal Tubule Epithelial Cells
Article Menu

Export Article

Open AccessReview

Tumor Budding: The Name is EMT. Partial EMT.

Departments of BioSciences, Rice University, Houston, TX 77005-1827, USA
Departments of Bioengineering, Rice University, Houston, TX 77005-1827, USA
Departments of Physics and Astronomy, Rice University, Houston, TX 77005-1827, USA
Center for Theoretical Biological Physics, Rice University, Houston, TX 77005-1827, USA
Graduate Program in Systems, Synthetic and Physical Biology, Rice University, Houston, TX 77005-1827, USA
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Academic Editor: Emanuel F. Petricoin
J. Clin. Med. 2016, 5(5), 51;
Received: 24 February 2016 / Revised: 14 April 2016 / Accepted: 22 April 2016 / Published: 29 April 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Epithelial-Mesenchymal Transition)
PDF [732 KB, uploaded 29 April 2016]


Tumor budding is a histological phenomenon encountered in various cancers, whereby individual malignant cells and/or small clusters of malignant cells are seen in the tumor stroma. Postulated to be mirror epithelial-mesenchymal transition, tumor budding has been associated with poor cancer outcomes. However, the vast heterogeneity in its exact definition, methodology of assessment, and patient stratification need to be resolved before it can be routinely used as a standardized prognostic feature. Here, we discuss the heterogeneity in defining and assessing tumor budding, its clinical significance across multiple cancer types, and its prospective implementation in clinical practice. Next, we review the emerging evidence about partial, rather than complete, epithelial-mesenchymal phenotype at the tumor bud level, and its connection with tumor proliferation, quiescence, and stemness. Finally, based on recent literature, indicating a co-expression of epithelial and mesenchymal markers in many tumor buds, we posit tumor budding to be a manifestation of this hybrid epithelial/mesenchymal phenotype displaying collective cell migration. View Full-Text
Keywords: tumor budding; epithelial-mesenchymal transition; EMT; cancer tumor budding; epithelial-mesenchymal transition; EMT; cancer

Figure 1

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

Grigore, A.D.; Jolly, M.K.; Jia, D.; Farach-Carson, M.C.; Levine, H. Tumor Budding: The Name is EMT. Partial EMT.. J. Clin. Med. 2016, 5, 51.

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]
J. Clin. Med. EISSN 2077-0383 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top