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The Plasticity of Aggressive Melanoma

Issue: Vol.5, No.3 - July 2006

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Article Type: Manuscript

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  1. Dr Mary Hendrix
    PhD
    Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology, Bowen Science Building
  2. Elisabeth A. Seftor
  3. Paul S. Meltzer
  4. Angela R. Hess
  5. Lynn M. Gruman
  6. Brian Nickoloff
  7. Lucio Miele
  8. Don D. Sheriff
  9. Gina C. Schatteman
  10. Mario A. Bourdon
  11. Richard E.B. Seftor

The molecular analyses of a variety of aggressive tumor cells, including melanoma, have revealed the co-expression of multiple phenotype-specific genes, such as those of endothelial, epithelial, fibroblastic, hematopoietic, neuronal, and several precursor stem cell types. These findings suggest that aggressive tumor cells may undergo a genetic reversion to a pluripotent, embryonic-like phenotype, and have challenged our current thinking of identifying and targeting tumor cells exhibiting plasticity. This review focuses on specific aspects of melanoma cell plasticity and the importance of the micro-environment in influencing the fate of aggressive tumor cells.

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