Carcinosarcomas: tumors in transition?
Carcinosarcomas are rare, biphasic tumors that are comprised of carcinomatous and sarcomatous elements. While the exact mechanism by which these two phenotypes arise within a single tumor remains unclear, molecular evidence indicates that the epitheliod and spindle-cell components share a clonal origin. We propose that the biphasic nature of these neoplasms may represent an extreme case of epithelial plasticity, in which an epithelial-like cell undergoes a transition to a more mesenchymal phenotype. The present review will discuss both the histological and molecular biological evidence of the involvement of epithelial plasticity in driving the mixed phenotypes observed in carcinosarcomas.
Somarelli, JA; Boss, M-K; Epstein, JI; Armstrong, AJ; Garcia-Blanco, MA
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