Introduction: Neuroendocrine tumors of the pancreas form an inhomogenous group of epithelial neoplasms. They differ from other types of pancreatic cancers by showing an extended survival of patients, which is due to a mostly slow proliferation rate of the tumor. However, some of these neuroendocrine tumors are characterized by an early onset of metastases, which cannot be predicted by any available method. The epithelial to mesenchymal transition (EMT) represents a central part of cell migration and metastasis. During EMT, cells loosen their cellular contacts, leave the tissue, and become migrating single cells. One of the integral compounds of cell adhesion represents the E-cadherin adhesion module, which contains mostly E-cadherin and several catenins. A loss of this adhesion module is associated with tumor progression, migration and metastasis in many types of cancer.
Conference: 7th Annual ENETS Conference (2010)
Presenting Author: Dr Alexander König