Cellular Pliancy and the Multistep Process of Tumorigenesis

Cancer Cell. 2018 Feb 12;33(2):164-172. doi: 10.1016/j.ccell.2018.01.007.


Completion of early stages of tumorigenesis relies on the dynamic interplay between the initiating oncogenic event and the cellular context. Here, we review recent findings indicating that each differentiation stage within a defined cellular lineage is associated with a unique susceptibility to malignant transformation when subjected to a specific oncogenic insult. This emerging notion, named cellular pliancy, provides a rationale for the short delay in the development of pediatric cancers of prenatal origin. It also highlights the critical role of cellular reprogramming in early steps of malignant transformation of adult differentiated cells and its impact on the natural history of tumorigenesis.

Keywords: cell reprogramming; developmental pliancy; differentiation; malignant transformation; pediatric cancers.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Carcinogenesis / genetics
  • Carcinogenesis / pathology*
  • Cell Differentiation / physiology
  • Cell Lineage / genetics
  • Cell Transformation, Neoplastic / genetics*
  • Cellular Reprogramming / genetics*
  • Humans
  • Neoplastic Stem Cells / cytology*