Cell reprogramming reverts cells to multipotent, preprogrammed states by re-establishing epigenetic markers. It can also induce considerable malignant phenotype modification. Because key events in cancer relapse and metastasis, including epithelial-mesenchymal transition phenotypes, are regulated primarily by reversible and transient epigenetic modifications rather than the accumulation of irreversible and stable genetic abnormalities, studying dynamic mechanisms regulating these biological processes is important. Transcription factors for induced pluripotent stem cells and non-coding microRNAs allow pluripotent phenotype induction. We present the current knowledge of the possible applications of cell reprogramming in reducing aggressive phenotype expression, which can induce tumor cell hibernation and maintain appropriate phenotypes, thereby minimizing relapse and metastasis after surgical resection of gastrointestinal cancer.
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