Cell Plasticity

The potential of a differentiated cell (a cell that has matured to have a specific function and identify) to de-differentiate back into a stem-like state and then to differentiate into a new state. The premise is that a cell’s identity and function are not permanently fixed after a cell has differentiated. Within a tumour, neighbouring cells change from one shape to another in ways that normal cells do not. [Adapted from: Nguyen, D.H. (2016). Systems Biology of Tumour Physiology: Rethinking the Past, Defining the Future, Chapter 2, Cellular plasticity, cancer stem cells, and cells-of-origin. Springer.]