Nanomaterials as inhibitors of epithelial mesenchymal transition in cancer treatment

Marco Cordani, Raffaele Strippoli, Álvaro Somoza

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) has emerged as a key regulator of cell invasion and metastasis in cancers. Besides the acquisition of migratory/invasive abilities, the EMT process is tightly connected with the generation of cancer stem cells (CSCs), thus contributing to chemoresistance. However, although EMT represents a relevant therapeutic target for cancer treatment, its application in the clinic is still limited due to various reasons, including tumor-stage heterogeneity, molecular-cellular target specificity, and appropriate drug delivery. Concerning this last point, different nanomaterials may be used to counteract EMT induction, providing novel therapeutic tools against many different cancers. In this review, (1) we discuss the application of various nanomaterials for EMT-based therapies in cancer, (2) we summarize the therapeutic relevance of some of the proposed EMT targets, and (3) we review the potential benefits and weaknesses of each approach.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberE25
Pages (from-to)1-40
Number of pages40
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2020


  • Cancer metastasis
  • Cancer therapy
  • Epithelial‐mesenchymal transition
  • Nanomaterials
  • Nanomedicine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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