An examination of the relationship between epithelial to mesenchymal transition and cancer stem cells in solid tumors
MetadataShow full item record
This thesis examines the connection between epithelial to mesenchymal transition (EMT) and cancer stem cells (CSC) in solid tumors. Epithelial to mesenchymal transition describes the conversion of cancer cells from an adherent, differentiated, and polar phenotype (epithelial) to a motile, plastic, and apolar phenotype (mesenchymal). EMT is correlated with metastasis; EMT is usually measured by QRT-PCR or immunohistochemistry. Cancer stem cells are thought to be responsible for metastasis and recurrence. They have been found in almost all solid tumors and cancer stem cell-enriched populations are detectable using flow cytometry. EMT and cancer stem cells have many jeans, transcription factors, and signaling pathways in common. Both have been clinically correlated with patient outcomes and disease-free survival. There's currently no consensus on mechanistic connection between the two phenomena. The current data on critical signaling pathways as well as the effect of the tumor stroma and cytotoxic therapy is examined. The current body of research points to the conclusion that EMT may be responsible for the cancer stem cell-enriched populations in solid tumors.
Thesis (M.A.)--Boston University