The role of cancer stem cells in breast cancer initiation and progression: Potential cancer stem cell-directed therapies

Panagiota Economopoulou, Virginia G. Kaklamani, Kalliopi Siziopikou

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

49 Scopus citations

Abstract

Recent studies have identified a small population of highly tumorigenic cells with stem cell properties in human breast and other solid tumors that are considered to be the source of tumor initiation and maintenance; these cells are referred to as cancer stem cells (CSCs). Preclinical data suggest that current breast cancer treatment strategies lead to CSCenrichment, contributing to chemotherapy and radiotherapy resistance, although a strong correlation with clinical parameters and prognosis is yet to be established. Importantly, overcoming treatment failure by effective targeting of CSCs may be an appealing approach, potentially leading to improved clinical outcomes for patients with breast cancer. Several preclinical studies provide promising results that support this hypothesis. The purpose of this review is to summarize the role of CSCs in breast cancer recurrence and resistance and to discuss current attempts of CSC targeting.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1394-1401
Number of pages8
JournalOncologist
Volume17
Issue number11
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 1 2012
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Cancer stem cell hypothesis
  • CD44CD24 phenotype
  • Chemoresistance
  • CSC-targeted therapies

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research

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