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The network of pluripotency, epithelial–mesenchymal transition, and prognosis of breast cancer

Authors Voutsadakis IA

Received 10 June 2015

Accepted for publication 27 July 2015

Published 7 September 2015 Volume 2015:7 Pages 303—319

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/BCTT.S71163

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Tuhin Das

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Professor Pranela Rameshwar

Ioannis A Voutsadakis1,2

1Division of Medical Oncology, Department of Internal Medicine, Sault Area Hospital, Sault Ste Marie, ON, Canada; 2Division of Clinical Sciences, Northern Ontario School of Medicine, Sudbury, ON, Canada

Abstract: Breast cancer is the leading female cancer in terms of prevalence. Progress in molecular biology has brought forward a better understanding of its pathogenesis that has led to better prognostication and treatment. Subtypes of breast cancer have been identified at the genomic level and guide therapeutic decisions based on their biology and the expected benefit from various interventions. Despite this progress, a significant percentage of patients die from their disease and further improvements are needed. The cancer stem cell theory and the epithelial–mesenchymal transition are two comparatively novel concepts that have been introduced in the area of cancer research and are actively investigated. Both processes have their physiologic roots in normal development and common mediators have begun to surface. This review discusses the associations of these networks as a prognostic framework in breast cancer.

Keywords: stem cells, epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition, mesenchymal-to-epithelial transition

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