On the hunt for B-cell lymphoblastic leukemia-initiating stem cells

  • The view that tumors consist of a homogenous mass of clonal derived cells has dramatically changed in recent years. Tumors harbor an enormous heterogeneity of cells with distinct capabilities and functions. The heterogeneity originates from a differentiation hierarchy of tumor cells, similar to normal tissue organization of stem-cell driven organs, but also from clonal succession of subpopulations by randomly acquired genetic mutations and epigenetic changes. Both scenarios are certainly not mutually exclusive, and also stem and progenitor cells underlie mutational selection. Intratumoral heterogeneity is a major challenge for cancer treatment and disease monitoring. Functional studies revealed that not all tumor cells have the same ability to initiate tumor growth upon transplantation in receptive animal models. The tumorinitiating cells (TICs) were called cancer stem cells due to their similarities to normal tissue stem cells in their molecular and functional properties. They can renew themselves long-term and give rise to tumor cells lacking cancer stem cell properties. However, it is worth stressing here that TICs do not necessarily originate from stem cells, but may have regained stem cell properties. TICs caught major attention since they may provide important steps in the progression of malignant diseases, such as epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition, dissemination, long-term persistence, therapy resistance, and relapse of the disease. The prospective identification of TICs using distinct surface markers would allow their molecular and functional characterization, the design of detection methods for diagnosis and prognosis, and the development of targeted therapies against these detrimental cells. While functional evidence for the existence of TICs were provided for many tumor entities, their marker profile still remains largely undefined and controversial. ...

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Author:Bartosch Wojcik, Fabian Lang, Michael A. RiegerORCiDGND
Pubmed Id:https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29312529
Parent Title (English):OncoTarget
Publisher:Impact Journals LLC
Place of publication:[s. l.]
Document Type:Article
Year of Completion:2017
Date of first Publication:2017/11/21
Publishing Institution:Universit├Ątsbibliothek Johann Christian Senckenberg
Release Date:2018/01/16
Tag:ALL; cancer stem cells; leukemia; plasticity; surface marker reversion
Page Number:2
First Page:108286
Last Page:108287
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Institutes:Medizin / Medizin
Dewey Decimal Classification:6 Technik, Medizin, angewandte Wissenschaften / 61 Medizin und Gesundheit / 610 Medizin und Gesundheit
Licence (German):License LogoCreative Commons - Namensnennung 3.0