Carcinosarcomas and Related Cancers: Tumors Caught in the Act of Epithelial-Mesenchymal Transition

Pang, A., Carbini, M., Moreira, A. L., Maki, R. G. (January 2018) Carcinosarcomas and Related Cancers: Tumors Caught in the Act of Epithelial-Mesenchymal Transition. J Clin Oncol, 36 (2). pp. 210-216. ISSN 0732-183x

DOI: 10.1200/jco.2017.74.9523


In this review, we outline the biology and management of patients with carcinosarcomas and related malignancies, which are often included under the broader concept of sarcomatoid carcinomas. Carcinosarcomas are unusual tumors that are commonly gynecologic in origin, where they are referred to as malignant mixed Mullerian tumors, but may appear in any anatomic site. Although a variety of hypotheses have been presented as to the biphasic nature of these tumors, carcinosarcomas seem to represent the best example in human cancers of the concept of epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT), in which the two parts of the tumor are genomically related to one another, as opposed to the mesenchymal component that represents a second neoplasm or (benign) reactive process. In general, patients with carcinosarcomas fare worse than patients with carcinomas of the same anatomic site. Treatment paradigms for carcinosarcomas generally follow those of carcinomas of the same organ site, except where clinical trials provide more specific options. Agents that block or reverse EMT are worth examination in patients with carcinosarcoma and arguably may be even more effective in carcinomas, given evidence of dependence on EMT to generate successful metastases. Information about EMT may also inform other phase transitions in cancer, such as those between prostate or lung carcinoma and more aggressive tumors with neuroendocrine differentiation.

Item Type: Paper
Subjects: diseases & disorders > cancer > cancer types > sarcoma
CSHL Authors:
Communities: CSHL labs > Maki lab
Depositing User: Matt Covey
Date: 10 January 2018
Date Deposited: 14 Dec 2017 19:42
Last Modified: 05 Feb 2018 16:06
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