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Highly lymphatic metastatic pancreatic cancer cells possess stem cell-like properties

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Cancer stem cells are thought to be the origin of tumor metastasis. However, evidence of cancer stem cells as the source of lymphatic metastasis in pancreatic cancer is not clear. In this study, we examined the stem cell-like properties of the highly lymphatic metastatic pancreatic cancer cells BxPC-3-LN. Compared with the parental BxPC-3 cells, the BxPC-3-LN cells showed stem cell-like properties, including high lymphatic metastasis potential, self-renewal ability and chemoresistance. In addition, the BxPC-3-LN cells also expressed higher levels of sonic hedgehog and migrating cancer stem cell surface markers (CD133 and CXCR4) compared to the parental BxPC-3 cells. The growth of BxPC-3-LN cells was significantly inhibited by gemcitabine combined with the sonic hedgehog inhibitor cyclopamine. The BxPC-3-LN cells expressed lower levels of let-7, miR-34, miR-107, miR-125, miR-128, miR-130, miR-132 and miR-141 than the parental BxPC-3 cells detected by microRNA PCR array, which were reported to have close relation to stem cell factors. This study provides evidence that cancer stem cells are the major sources of pancreatic cancer lymphatic metastasis, and microRNAs may regulate lymphatic metastasis in pancreatic cancer through modulating cancer stem cells.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Pancreatic and Hepatobiliary Surgery, Fudan University Shanghai Cancer Center; Department of Oncology, Shanghai Medical College, Fudan University; Pancreatic Cancer Institute, Fudan University, Shanghai 200032, P.R. China 2: The Vivian L. Smith Department of Neurosurgery, The University of Texas Medical School at Houston, Houston, TX 77030, USA

Publication date: January 1, 2013

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  • The International Journal of Oncology provides an international forum for the publication of the latest, cutting-edge research in the broad area of oncology and cancer treatment. The journal accepts original high quality works and reviews on all aspects of oncology research including carcinogenesis, metastasis, epidemiology, chemotherapy and viral oncology. Through fair and efficient peer review, the journal is dedicated to publishing top tier research in the field, offering authors rapid publication as well as high standards of copy-editing and production. The International Journal of Oncology is published on a monthly basis in both print and early online.
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