Striking similarities between wound healing, epimorphic regeneration and the progression of solid tumors have been uncovered by recent studies. In this Review, we discuss systemic effects of tumorigenesis that are now being appreciated in epimorphic regeneration, including genetic, cellular and metabolic heterogeneity, changes in circulating factors, and the complex roles of immune cells and immune modulation at systemic and local levels. We suggest that certain mechanisms enabling regeneration may be co-opted by cancer to promote growth at primary and metastatic sites. Finally, we advocate that working with a unified approach could complement research in both fields.
© 2020. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

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Jessica Whited studies limb regeneration in axolotl salamanders. Her lab develops tools to manipulate gene expression during limb regeneration, and explores signaling events following wound healing that initiate the regenerative process.

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