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Signaling, Cancer Cell Plasticity, and Intratumor Heterogeneity

Cell Communications and Signaling invites you to submit to our new thematic series:

Signaling, Cancer Cell Plasticity, and Intratumor Heterogeneity

A major deterrent for developing effective cancer cell therapeutics arises from intratumor heterogeneity, often leading to cancer evolution and tumor progression. Cellular plasticity, a term adopted to describe molecular and phenotypic changes linked to genetic and epigenetic alterations, has been linked to both intratumor heterogeneity and variability in therapeutic response. Studies indicate cell plasticity reflects a distinctive trait of tumor progression and can involve specific signaling transduction pathways, such as pathways regulating epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) and metabolic shift from glycolytic metabolism to oxidative phosphorylation. During these events, cancer cells acquire an ability to dynamically oscillate between different stages of differentiation and stemness that represent typical features of cancer stem cells (CSCs), giving cancer cells the ability to self-renew, invade surrounding tissues, and form metastases. Notably, these molecular changes leading to cellular plasticity are the result of a complex interplay between intracellular signaling pathways with extracellular cues. However, despite the key role that tumor plasticity plays in the acquisition of the oncogenic phenotype, much remains to be understood and discovered about its molecular features.

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Here, Cell Communication and Signaling calls for both primary research papers and literature review articles focusing on the intricate signaling transduction pathways and networks responsible for tumor cell plasticity and intratumor heterogeneity. We hope to explore how these events contribute to tumor progression as well as how tumor cells interact with their tumor microenvironment. We anticipate a better understanding of the mechanisms involved in cancer cell plasticity will provide novel opportunities to counteract CSCs and the processes responsible for tumor progression, including EMT and metabolic rewiring.

Guest Editors:
Marco Cordani, Complutense University of Madrid, Spain
Ilaria Dando, University of Verona, Italy
Giulia Ambrosini, University of Verona, Italy
Pedro González-Menéndez, University of Oviedo, Spain

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