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Open Access The Role of Cancer Stem Cells (CD133+) in Malignant Gliomas

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Malignant gliomas, particularly glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) tumors, are very difficult to treat by conventional approaches. Although most of the tumor mass can be removed by surgical resection, radiotherapy, and chemotherapy, it eventually recurs. There is growing evidence that cancer stem cells (CSCs) play an important role in tumor recurrence. These stem cells are radioresistant and chemoresistant. The most commonly used tumor marker for CSCs is CD133. The amount of CSC component is closely correlated with tumor malignancy grading. Isolating, identifying, and treating CSCs as the target is crucial for treating malignant gliomas. CSC-associated vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) promotes tumor angiogenesis, tumor hemorrhage, and tumor infiltration. Micro-RNA (miRNA) plays a role in CSC gene expression, which may regulate oncogenesis or suppression to influence tumor development or progression. The antigenesis of CSCs and normal stem cells may be different. The CSCs may escape the T-cell immune response. Identifying a new specific antigen from CSCs for vaccine treatment is a key point for immunotherapy. On the other hand, augmented treatment with radiosensitizer or chemosensitizer may lead to reduction of CSCs and lead to CSCs being vulnerable to radiotherapy and chemotherapy. The control of signaling pathway and cell differentiation to CSC growth is another new hope for treatment of malignant gliomas. Although the many physiological behavioral differences between CSCs and normal stem cells are unclear, the more we know about these differences the better we will be able to treat CSCs effectively.

Keywords: CD133+; Cancer stem cells (CSCs); Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM); Malignant gliomas; Micro-RNA (miRNA); Signaling pathway

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Department of Neurosurgery, Neuropsychiatric Center, Cell/Gene Therapy Research Laboratory, China Medical University Hospital, Taichung, Taiwan

Publication date: 2011-01-01

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  • Cell Transplantation publishes original, peer-reviewed research and review articles on the subject of cell transplantation and its application to human diseases. To ensure high-quality contributions from all areas of transplantation, separate section editors and editorial boards have been established. Articles deal with a wide range of topics including physiological, medical, preclinical, tissue engineering, and device-oriented aspects of transplantation of nervous system, endocrine, growth factor-secreting, bone marrow, epithelial, endothelial, and genetically engineered cells, among others. Basic clinical studies and immunological research papers are also featured. To provide complete coverage of this revolutionary field, Cell Transplantation will report on relevant technological advances, and ethical and regulatory considerations of cell transplants. Cell Transplantation is now an Open Access journal starting with volume 18 in 2009, and therefore there will be an inexpensive publication charge, which is dependent on the number of pages, in addition to the charge for color figures. This will allow work to be disseminated to a wider audience and also entitle the corresponding author to a free PDF, as well as prepublication of an unedited version of the manuscript.
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