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BMC Cancer 2014 Mar 11;14:173

Identification and characterization of cancer stem cells in human head and neck squamous cell carcinoma.

Han J, Fujisawa T, Husain SR, Puri RK

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Current evidence suggests that initiation, growth, and invasion of cancer are driven by a small population of cancer stem cells (CSC). Previous studies have identified CD44+ cells as cancer stem cells in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC). However, CD44 is widely expressed in most cells in HNSCC tumor samples and several cell lines tested. We previously identified a small population of CD24+/CD44+ cells in HNSCC. In this study, we examined whether this population of cells may represent CSC in HNSCC. METHODS: CD24+/CD44+ cells from HNSCC cell lines were sorted by flow cytometry, and their phenotype was confirmed by qRT-PCR. Their self-renewal and differentiation properties, clonogenicity in collagen gels, and response to anticancer drugs were tested in vitro. The tumorigenicity potential of CD24+/CD44+ cells was tested in athymic nude mice in vivo. RESULTS: Our results show that CD24+/CD44+ cells possessed stemness characteristics of self-renewal and differentiation. CD24+/CD44+ cells showed higher cell invasion in vitro and made higher number of colonies in collagen gels compared to CD24-/CD44+ HNSCC cells. In addition, the CD24+/CD44+ cells were more chemo-resistant to gemcitabine and cisplatin compared to CD24-/CD44+ cells. In vivo, CD24+/CD44+ cells showed a tendency to generate larger tumors in nude mice compared to CD24-/CD44+ cell population. CONCLUSION: Our study clearly demonstrates that a distinct small population of CD24+/CD44+ cells is present in HNSCC that shows stem cell-like properties. This distinct small population of cells should be further characterized and may provide an opportunity to target HNSCC CSC for therapy.


Category: Journal Article
PubMed ID: #24612587 DOI: 10.1186/1471-2407-14-173
Includes FDA Authors from Scientific Area(s): Biologics
Entry Created: 2014-05-01 Entry Last Modified: 2014-05-08
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