Cell-in-cell phenomena in cancer

Stefano Fais, Michael Overholtzer

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Cell-in-cell structures are reported in numerous cancers, and their presence is an indicator for poor prognosis. Mechanistic studies have identified how cancer cells manage to ingest whole neighbouring cells to form such structures, and the consequences of cell-in-cell formation on cancer progression have been elucidated. In this Opinion article, we discuss how two related cell-in-cell processes, cell cannibalism and entosis, are regulated and how these mechanisms promote cancer progression. We propose that cannibalistic activity is a hallmark of cancer that results in part from selection by metabolic stress and serves to feed aggressive cancer cells.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)758-766
Number of pages9
JournalNature Reviews Cancer
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2018


Dive into the research topics of 'Cell-in-cell phenomena in cancer'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this