The epithelial to mesenchymal transition (EMT) is a cellular program that is involved in embryonic development; wound healing, but also in tumorigenesis. Breast carcinoma (BC) is the most common cancer in women worldwide, and the majority of deaths (90%) are caused by invasion and metastasis. The EMT plays an important role in invasion and subsequent metastasis. Several distinct biological events integrate a cascade that leads not only to a change from an epithelial to mesenchymal phenotype, but allows for detachment, migration, invasion and ultimately, colonization of a second site. Understanding the biological intricacies of the EMT may provide important insights that lead to the development of therapeutic targets in pre-invasive and invasive breast cancer, and could be used as biomarkers identifying tumor subsets with greater chances of recurrence, metastasis and therapeutic resistance leading to death.
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