IMR Press / FBL / Volume 25 / Issue 5 / DOI: 10.2741/4837

Frontiers in Bioscience-Landmark (FBL) is published by IMR Press from Volume 26 Issue 5 (2021). Previous articles were published by another publisher on a subscription basis, and they are hosted by IMR Press on as a courtesy and upon agreement with Frontiers in Bioscience.

Epithelial to mesenchymal plasticity: role in cancer progression
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1 Institute of Bioinformatics, International Technology Park, Bangalore, 560066, India
2 Centre for Molecular Medicine, National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (NIMHANS), Bangalore, 560029, India
3 Manipal Academy of Higher Education (MAHE), Manipal, 576104, India
4 Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN55905, US
5 Center for Individualized Medicine, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN55905, US
Send correspondence to: Remya Raja, Institute of Bioinformatics, Discover Building, International Tech Park, Bangalore- 560066, India, Tel: 91-80-28416140, Fax: 91-80-28416132. E-mail:
Front. Biosci. (Landmark Ed) 2020, 25(5), 838–873;
Published: 1 January 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Elucidation of exosomes role in metastasis)

Epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) is a dynamic process by which the cells transdifferentiate into two or more somatic states. The metastatic spread begins with tumor cells disseminated from the primary tumor via intravasation, hematogenous transit and extravasation to reach the distant organs to form micro- or macrometastasis. Dissemination of tumor cells or metastasis is a crucial stage in cancer progression and accounts for majority of cancer associated morbidity and mortality. Advances in technology has now enabled detection and capture of tumor cells that escape from primary site into the bloodstream. Such tumor cells which are found in transit in the blood are referred to as circulating tumor cells (CTCs) and they represent the early step in metastatic cascade. The dynamic changes in EMT phenotype in CTCs plays a key role in cancer metastasis. This review will focus on the role of EMT in cancer progression, circulating tumor cells and its clinical relevance.

Liquid Biopsy
Hybrid Phenotype
Cadherin Switch
Figure 1
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