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Special Issue "Causalities and Regulations of Tumor Metastasis 2.0"

A special issue of International Journal of Molecular Sciences (ISSN 1422-0067). This special issue belongs to the section "Molecular Oncology".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 January 2022.

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Dimitrios J. Stravopodis
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Section of Cell Biology & Biophysics, Department of Biology, University of Athens (NKUA) Panepistimiopolis, Zografou 15701 Athens, Greece
Interests: development; cancer; chemotherapy; metastasis; programmed cell death; metabolism; Drosophila aging; brain signaling
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The major cause of cancer-associated deaths is metastatic disease, rather than primary malignancy. Cancer cells can infrequently disseminate from primary tumors and subsequently seed new colonies in distant tissues, via a multistep process of genetic and/or epigenetic alterations, widely known as invasion–metastasis cascade. This sequential course mainly involves: (a) intravasation of escapers into the circulation, (b) tumor-cell protection against physical stress (hydrodynamic flow) and immune (neutrophil) attack, and (c) extravasation of the survivors through trans-endothelial migration. One central superprogram being contextually engaged in cancer metastasis is termed epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT). A series of master EMT-inducing transcription factors, such as Zeb1, Twist, Slug, and Snail, orchestrate and coordinate the loss of epithelial (usually, E-Cadherin-dependent) features, and the simultaneous acquisition of specific mesenchymal (usually, Vimentin-dependent) properties, thus endowing cancer cells with multiple malignant traits. Heterotypic signals, including TGF-βs and Wnts, released from the nearby, “reactive”, stroma that is composed of (myo)fibroblasts, endothelial, lymphoid, and myeloid cells, can activate the previously silent EMT route. Remarkably, it is the phenotypic plasticity of a “partial EMT” (“hybrid” in between EMT and MET (mesenchymal-to-epithelial transition)) state that seems to enhance tumor progression and metastasis. EMT commitment can also confer upon cancer cells important stem-cell attributes that usually serve as critical prerequisites for metastatic colonization. However, the biological underpinnings of adaptive mechanisms that control organ-specific tropism of metastatic cells remain poorly understood. Hitherto, no genetic mutation has been identified to be associated with progression to metastasis. Hence, despite the general principles of metastasis that have begun to emerge, detailed molecular circuitries, with oncogenic control nodes, are necessitated to be promptly elucidated, regarding the “causalities and regulations” of: (a) metastatic heterogeneity, (b) clonal origin of metastasis, (c) metastatic evolution, (d) organ microenvironment, (e) “intermediate EMT” programming, (f) radio- and/or chemotherapy resistance, (g) cancer-cell stemness, (h) metastatic dormancy, (i) metastatic signature, (j) metastatic stochasticity, and (k) metastatic determinism.

Dr. Dimitrios J. Stravopodis
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. International Journal of Molecular Sciences is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. There is an Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal. For details about the APC please see here. Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • cancer
  • chemoresistance
  • EMT
  • heterogeneity
  • MET
  • metastasis
  • signaling
  • stemness
  • stroma

Published Papers

This special issue is now open for submission.
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