Neural Crest Cells and Cancer. Insights into Tumor Progression.

Davalyn R. Powell, Jenean H. O'Brien, Heide L. Ford, Kristin Bruk Artinger

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

4 Scopus citations


Neural crest cells (NCC) and tumor cells undergo remarkably similar cellular and molecular changes during the progression from an epithelial cell to a migratory mesenchymal-like cell in the course of embryonic development and metastatic disease, respectively. Many of the same genes and genetic pathways are expressed and required for delamination, migration, survival, and proliferation to occur in both neural crest and cancer. Additionally, tumors that originate from NCC and their derivatives exhibit re-activation and/or misregulation of genes that were expressed during normal development and differentiation. These parallels make neural crest development an excellent model for understanding the pathways tumor cells may employ during cancer progression and may provide clues to improve cancer diagnosis, treatment, and therapies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationNeural Crest Cells
Subtitle of host publicationEvolution, Development and Disease
PublisherElsevier Inc.
Number of pages23
ISBN (Print)9780124017306
StatePublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition
  • Glioma
  • Melanoma
  • Migration
  • Neuroblastoma


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