Targeting EMT in Cancer with Repurposed Metabolic Inhibitors

Vignesh Ramesh, Thomas Brabletz, Paolo Ceppi*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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Epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) determines the most lethal features of cancer, metastasis formation and chemoresistance, and therefore represents an attractive target in oncology. However, direct targeting of EMT effector molecules is, in most cases, pharmacologically challenging. Since emerging research has highlighted the distinct metabolic circuits involved in EMT, we propose the use of metabolism-specific inhibitors, FDA approved or under clinical trials, as a drug repurposing approach to target EMT in cancer. Metabolism-inhibiting drugs could be coupled with standard chemo- or immunotherapy to combat EMT-driven resistant and aggressive cancers.

Original languageEnglish
JournalTrends in Cancer
Issue number11
Pages (from-to)942-950
Publication statusPublished - 1. Nov 2020


  • chemoresistance
  • drug repurposing
  • epithelial–mesenchymal transition
  • metabolic inhibitor
  • partial EMT


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