Conceptualizing Cancer Stem Cells in Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma

Conceptualizing Cancer Stem Cells in Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma

There is increasing evidence that the growth and spread of cancers is driven by a small subpopulation of cancer stem cells (CSCs) – the only cells that are capable of long-term self-renewal, proliferation and generation of the phenotypically diverse tumor cell population. CSCs have been identified and isolated in a variety of human cancers including head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC). Studies of many cancer types including HNSCC have identified CSCs using specific markers, but it is still unclear as to where in the stem cell hierarchy these markers fall. This is compounded further by the presence of multiple CSC subtypes within HNSCC, making investigation reliant on the use of multiple markers. The concept of cancer stem cells may have profound implications for our understanding of tumor biology and for the design of novel treatments targeted toward these cells. In this chapter we explore the current knowledge in CSC markers. We further attempt to conceptualize the role of CSCs in HNSCC – its implication in tumorigenesis and the possible additional approach in current treatment strategies.

Author(s) Details

Dr. Amit Shah [MDS]
Department of Oral Pathology and Microbiology, MGM Dental College and Hospital, Kamothe, Navi Mumbai 410209, India.

Shilpa Patel
Department of Oral Pathology and Microbiology, MGM Dental College and Hospital, Kamothe, Navi Mumbai 410209, India.

Jigna Pathak
Department of Oral Pathology and Microbiology, MGM Dental College and Hospital, Kamothe, Navi Mumbai 410209, India.

Niharika Swain
Department of Oral Pathology and Microbiology, MGM Dental College and Hospital, Kamothe, Navi Mumbai 410209, India.

Shwetha Kumar
Department of Oral Pathology and Microbiology, MGM Dental College and Hospital, Kamothe, Navi Mumbai 410209, India.

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