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Cancer Lett. 2012 Sep 1;322(1):1-7. doi: 10.1016/j.canlet.2012.02.002. Epub 2012 Feb 11.

Ovarian cancer stem cell markers: prognostic and therapeutic implications.

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  • 1University of Michigan, Cell and Molecular Biology Program, United States.


Cancer stem cells are rare chemotherapy resistant cells within a tumor which can serve to populate the bulk of a tumor with more differentiated daughter cells and potentially contribute to recurrent disease. Ovarian cancer is a disease for which at the time of initial treatment we can obtain complete clinical remission in the majority of patients. Unfortunately, most will relapse and succumb to their disease. This clinical course is in line with the cancer stem cell model. In the past 5 years a significant amount of work has been done to identify cells with characteristics of ovarian cancer stem cells. This review will focus specifically on the markers used to define human ovarian cancer stem cells, the prognostic implications of the expression of these cancer stem cell markers in patient's primary tumors, and the potential of these cancer stem cell markers to serve as therapeutic targets.

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