J Cancer 2014; 5(5):301-310. doi:10.7150/jca.8610

Review

Investigating Molecular Profiles of Ovarian Cancer: An Update on Cancer Stem Cells

Federica Tomao1, Anselmo Papa2✉, Martina Strudel2, Luigi Rossi2, Giuseppe Lo Russo2, Pierluigi Benedetti Panici1, Francesca Romana Ciabatta2, Silverio Tomao2

1. Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics, Policlinico Umberto I Hospital, University of Rome, Italy;
2. Oncology Unit, ICOT Hospital, Policlinico Umberto I Hospital, University of Rome, Italy.

Abstract

Currently we are more and more improving our knowledge about the characteristics and the role of cancer stem cells in human cancer. Particularly we have realized that self-renewing ovarian cancer stem cells (CSCs) or ovarian cancer-initiating cells, and mesenchymal stem cells (SCs) too, are probably implicated in the etiopathogenesis of epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC). There is clear evidence that these cells are also involved in its intra- and extra-peritoneal diffusion and in the occurrence of chemo-resistance. In assessing the molecular characteristics of ovarian CSCs, we have to take note that these cellular populations are rare and the absence of specific cell surface markers represents a challenge to isolate and identify pure SC populations. In our review, we focused our attention on the molecular characteristics of epithelial ovarian CSCs and on the methods to detect them starting from their biological features. The study of ovarian CSCs is taking on an increasingly important strategic role, mostly for the potential therapeutic application in the next future.

Keywords: Epithelial ovarian cancer, Ovarian cancer stem cells, Cancer stem cells markers, Tumor microenvironment, Therapeutic targets.

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How to cite this article:
Tomao F, Papa A, Strudel M, Rossi L, Lo Russo G, Benedetti Panici P, Ciabatta FR, Tomao S. Investigating Molecular Profiles of Ovarian Cancer: An Update on Cancer Stem Cells. J Cancer 2014; 5(5):301-310. doi:10.7150/jca.8610. Available from http://www.jcancer.org/v05p0301.htm