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J Immunol. 2016 Aug 1;197(3):691-8. doi: 10.4049/jimmunol.1600458.

Immunological Consequences of Epithelial-Mesenchymal Transition in Tumor Progression.

Author information

1
Graduate Program in Immunology, University of Michigan Medical Center, Ann Arbor, MI 48109; and.
2
Graduate Program in Immunology, University of Michigan Medical Center, Ann Arbor, MI 48109; and Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, Department of Internal Medicine, University of Michigan Medical Center, Ann Arbor, MI 48109 vkeshamo@med.umich.edu.

Abstract

Microenvironments that tumor cells encounter are different during the stages of cancer progression-primary tumor, metastasis, and at the metastatic site. This suggests potential differences in immune surveillance of primary tumor and metastasis. Epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) is a key reversible process in which cancer cells transition into highly motile and invasive cells for dissemination. Only a tiny proportion successfully metastasize, supporting the notion of metastasis-specific immune surveillance. EMT involves extensive molecular reprogramming of cells conferring many clinically relevant features to cancer cells and affects tumor cell interactions within the tumor microenvironment. We review the impact of tumor immune infiltrates on tumor cell EMT and the consequences of EMT in shaping the immune microenvironment of tumors. The usefulness of EMT as a model to investigate metastasis-specific immune surveillance mechanisms are also explored. Finally, we discuss potential implications of EMT for tumor immunogenicity, as well as current immunotherapies and future strategies.

PMID:
27431984
PMCID:
PMC4955875
DOI:
10.4049/jimmunol.1600458
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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