Epithelial-mesenchymal plasticity in organotropism metastasis and tumor immune escape

Xiang Nan, Jiang Wang, Haowen Nikola Liu, Stephen T.C. Wong, Hong Zhao

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Most cancer deaths are due to metastasis, and almost all cancers have their preferential metastatic organs, known as “organotropism metastasis”. Epithelial-mesenchymal plasticity has been described as heterogeneous and dynamic cellular differentiation states, supported by emerging experimental evidence from both molecular and morphological levels. Many molecular factors regulating epithelial-mesenchymal plasticity have tissue-specific and non-redundant properties. Reciprocally, cellular epithelial-mesenchymal plasticity contributes to shaping organ-specific pre-metastatic niche (PMN) including distinct local immune landscapes, mainly through secreted bioactive molecular factors. Here, we summarize recent progress on the involvement of tumor epithelial-mesenchymal plasticity in driving organotropic metastasis and regulating the function of different immune cells in organ-specific metastasis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number747
JournalJournal of Clinical Medicine
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2019


  • Cell
  • Cell communication
  • EMT heterogeneity
  • Organotropism metastasis
  • Tumor immune escape

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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