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Journal of Oncology
Volume 2015, Article ID 587193, 15 pages
Review Article

TGFβ Signaling in Tumor Initiation, Epithelial-to-Mesenchymal Transition, and Metastasis

Department of Health Sciences, Program in Biological Sciences, European University Cyprus, 6 Diogenes Street, Engomi, 1516 Nicosia, Cyprus

Received 21 August 2014; Accepted 14 October 2014

Academic Editor: Apostolos Zaravinos

Copyright © 2015 Panagiotis Papageorgis. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Retaining the delicate balance in cell signaling activity is a prerequisite for the maintenance of physiological tissue homeostasis. Transforming growth factor-beta (TGFβ) signaling is an essential pathway that plays crucial roles during embryonic development as well as in adult tissues. Aberrant TGFβ signaling activity regulates tumor progression in a cancer cell-autonomous or non-cell-autonomous fashion and these effects may be tumor suppressing or tumor promoting depending on the cellular context. The fundamental role of this pathway in promoting cancer progression in multiple stages of the metastatic process, including epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT), is also becoming increasingly clear. In this review, we discuss the latest advances in the effort to unravel the inherent complexity of TGFβ signaling and its role in cancer progression and metastasis. These findings provide important insights into designing personalized therapeutic strategies against advanced cancers.