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Multifocal epithelial tumors and field cancerization: stroma as a primary determinant

Type of publication Peer-reviewed
Publikationsform Original article (peer-reviewed)
Author Dotto G. P.,
Project Cancer stromal cell genetic control
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Original article (peer-reviewed)

Journal J Clin Invest
Volume (Issue) 124
Page(s) 1446 - 53
Title of proceedings J Clin Invest


It is increasingly evident that cancer results from altered organ homeostasis rather than from deregulated control of single cells or groups of cells. This applies especially to epithelial cancer, the most common form of human solid tumors and a major cause of cancer lethality. In the vast majority of cases, in situ epithelial cancer lesions do not progress into malignancy, even if they harbor many of the genetic changes found in invasive and metastatic tumors. While changes in tumor stroma are frequently viewed as secondary to changes in the epithelium, recent evidence indicates that they can play a primary role in both cancer progression and initiation. These processes may explain the phenomenon of field cancerization, i.e., the occurrence of multifocal and recurrent epithelial tumors that are preceded by and associated with widespread changes of surrounding tissue or organ "fields."