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Int J Mol Sci. 2013 Dec 18;14(12):24706-25. doi: 10.3390/ijms141224706.

Multidrug resistance and cancer stem cells in neuroblastoma and hepatoblastoma.

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Liver Research Unit, "Bambino Gesù" Children's Hospital, IRCCS, Rome 00165, Italy.
Liver Research Unit, "Bambino Gesù" Children's Hospital, IRCCS, Rome 00165, Italy.


Chemotherapy is one of the major modalities in treating cancers. However, its effectiveness is limited by the acquisition of multidrug resistance (MDR). Several mechanisms could explain the up-regulation of MDR genes/proteins in cancer after chemotherapy. It is known that cancer stem cells (CSCs) play a role as master regulators. Therefore, understanding the mechanisms that regulate some traits of CSCs may help design efficient strategies to overcome chemoresistance. Different CSC phenotypes have been identified, including those found in some pediatric malignancies. As solid tumors in children significantly differ from those observed in adults, this review aims at providing an overview of the mechanistic relationship between MDR and CSCs in common solid tumors, and, in particular, focuses on clinical as well as experimental evidence of the relations between CSCs and MDR in neuroblastoma and hepatoblastoma. Finally, some novel approaches, such as concomitant targeting of multiple key transcription factors governing the stemness of CSCs, as well as nanoparticle-based approaches will also be briefly addressed.

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