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Mol Aspects Med. 2014 Oct;39:61-81. doi: 10.1016/j.mam.2013.07.001. Epub 2013 Aug 5.

Colorectal cancer defeating? Challenge accepted!

Author information

1
Department of Surgical and Oncological Sciences, University of Palermo, Via Liborio Giuffre' 5, 90127 Palermo, Italy.
2
Division of Immunology and Immunogenetics, Department of Biotechnology and Medical and Forensic Biopathological (DIBIMEF), Palermo, Italy.
3
Department of Surgical and Oncological Sciences, University of Palermo, Via Liborio Giuffre' 5, 90127 Palermo, Italy. Electronic address: giorgio.stassi@unipa.it.

Abstract

Colorectal tumours are actually considered as aberrant organs, within it is possible to notice a different stage of cell growth and differentiation. Their origin is reported to arise from a subpopulation of tumour cells endowed with, just like the healthy stem cells, self-renewal and aberrant multi-lineage differentiation capacity likely to be called colorectal cancer stem cells (CCSCs). Cancer stem cells (CSCs) fate, since their origin, reflects the influences from their microenvironment (or niche) both in the maintenance of stemness, in promoting their differentiation, and in inducing epithelial-mesenchymal transition, responsible of CSCs dissemination and subsequent formation of metastatic lesions. The tumour cells heterogeneity and their immuno-response resistance nowadays probably responsible of the failure of the conventional therapies, make this research field an open issue. Even more importantly, our increasing understanding of the cellular and molecular mechanisms that regulate CSC quiescence and cell cycle regulation, self-renewal, chemotaxis and resistance to cytotoxic agents, is expected to eventually result in tailor-made therapies with a significant impact on the morbidity and overall survival of colorectal cancer patients.

KEYWORDS:

Cancer stem cell; Colorectal cancer; Immune system; Individualized therapy; Targeting; Tumour microenvironment

PMID:
23927966
DOI:
10.1016/j.mam.2013.07.001
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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