Reprogramming cancer cells: A novel approach for cancer therapy or a tool for disease-modeling?

Açelya Yilmazer, Irene de Lázaro, Hadiseh Taheri

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Chromatin dynamics have been the major focus of many physiological and pathological processes over the past 20 years. Epigenetic mechanisms have been shown to be reshaped during both cellular reprogramming and tumorigenesis. For this reason, cancer cell reprogramming can provide a powerful tool to better understand both regenerative and cancer-fate processes, with a potential to develop novel therapeutic approaches. Recent studies showed that cancer cells can be reprogrammed to a pluripotent state by the overexpression of reprogramming transcription factors. Activation of transcription factors and modification of chromatin regulators may result in the remodeling of epigenetic status and refueling of tumorigenicity in these reprogrammed cancer cells. However, studies focusing on cancer cell reprogramming are contradictory; some studies reported increased tumor progression whereas others showed that cellular reprogramming has a treatment potential for cancer. In this review, first, the current knowledge on the epigenetic mechanisms involved during cancer development and cellular reprogramming will be presented. Later, different reports and key factors about pluripotency-based reprogramming of cancer cells will be reviewed in detail. New insights will be provided on cancer biology and therapy in the light of cellular reprogramming.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-8
Number of pages8
JournalCancer Letters
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 1 2015


  • Cancer
  • Cell reprogramming
  • Epigenetics
  • IPS cells
  • Transcription factors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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