The molecular programme of tumour reversion: the steps beyond malignant transformation

Nat Rev Cancer. 2009 Mar;9(3):206-16. doi: 10.1038/nrc2589. Epub 2009 Jan 30.


How cells become malignant has preoccupied scientists for over a century. However, the converse question is also valid: are tumour cells capable of reverting from their malignant state? Askanazy's studies in 1907 indicated that teratoma cells could differentiate into normal somatic tissues and current evidence indicates that some tumour cells have acquired the molecular circuitry that results in the negation of chromosomal instability, translocations, oncogene activation and loss of tumour suppressor genes. Studying these extremely rare events of tumour reversion and deciphering these pathways, which involve SIAH1, presenilin 1, TSAP6 and translationally controlled tumour protein (TCTP), could lead to new avenues in cancer treatment.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / physiology
  • Cell Cycle Proteins
  • Cell Transformation, Neoplastic*
  • Humans
  • Models, Biological
  • Neoplasms / drug therapy
  • Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Nuclear Proteins / physiology
  • Oncogene Proteins / physiology
  • Oxidoreductases
  • Presenilin-1 / physiology
  • Tumor Protein, Translationally-Controlled 1
  • Ubiquitin-Protein Ligases / physiology


  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • Cell Cycle Proteins
  • Nuclear Proteins
  • Oncogene Proteins
  • Presenilin-1
  • TPT1 protein, human
  • Tumor Protein, Translationally-Controlled 1
  • Oxidoreductases
  • STEAP3 protein, human
  • Ubiquitin-Protein Ligases
  • seven in absentia proteins