Oncotarget review highlights molecular connections between cancer stem cells and macrophages

Oncotarget published "Cancer stem cells and macrophages: molecular connections and future perspectives against cancer" which reported that Cancer stem cells have been considered the key drivers of cancer initiation and progression due to their unlimited self-renewal capacity and their ability to induce tumor formation.

Macrophages, particularly tumor-associated macrophages, establish a tumor microenvironment to protect and induce CSCs development and dissemination.

Many studies in the past decade have been performed to understand the molecular mediators of CSCs and TAMs, and several studies have elucidated the complex crosstalk that occurs between these two cell types.

"The aim of this Oncotarget review is to define the complex crosstalk between these two cell types and to highlight potential future anti-cancer strategies."

Cancer stem cells (CSCs) constitute a cancer cell subpopulation similar to the other stem cell types in terms of self-renewal and multilineage differentiation potential but drive tumor development besides heterogeneity and dissemination of cancer cells."

Dr. Beatrice Aramini, University of Modena & Reggio Emilia

The role of ALDH as a possible marker for lung cancer stem cell: as ALDH cells in cancer cell lines, as well as those extracted from lung cancer tissue, for the properties that it showed as forming spheres in culture tumor cells lines as well as in cells extracted from lung cancer tissue.

However, currently, there is no specific or standard marker in lung cancer cells that can define this subpopulation of cells, probably due to the complex localization of these markers and their epigenetic regulation.

A theory regarding the role of CSCs in cancer progression is based on the premise that tumor tissue is hierarchically organized into different types of cells wherein CSC subpopulation is at the top of this hierarchy, with the other levels consisting of more differentiated tumor cells or cells with a limited proliferative potential.

Another essential characteristic that places CSCs at the top of the tumor cell hierarchy is their unlimited proliferation potential, which allows them to repopulate the tumor even if bulk tumor cells have been removed.

The Aramini Research Team concluded in their Oncotarget Review, "Generating new information about the interaction between TAMs and CSCs will be one of the most important challenges for the development of more effective targeted cancer therapies."

Source:
Journal reference:

Aramini, B., et al. (2021) Cancer stem cells and macrophages: molecular connections and future perspectives against cancer. Oncotarget. doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.27870.

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