Pancreatic carcinoma is an obstinate disease that is difficult to deal with, the five-year survival rate is 4%. Conventional, the main treatments for pancreatic cancer are surgery, radiation therapy and chemotherapy. Despite advances in surgical and medical therapy, little effect has been made on the mortality rate of this disease.
The theory of tumor stem cells proposed that, the capacity of a tumor to grow and propagate is dependent on a small subset of cells (so-called tumor stem cells), the tumor stem cells are responsible for tumor formation and maintenance. If we may destroy these tumor stem cells, it will be possible to treat successfully tumors. The initial isolation and identification of tumor stem cells was first proved in hematological malignancies. However, it is difficult to purify tumor stem cells because of lack of specific cell surface markers in solid tumors.
Subsequently researchers have discovered a small population of cancer stem cells in several malignancies, including brain, prostate, liver, lung, melanoma, and colon tumors.
A research team leaded by CY Wang, described an isolation of a subset of PANC-1cells that expressed surface marker CD44 and CD24 which have properties of tumor stem cells.
Using an elegant study design, including flow cytometry analysis, a model of transplantation of cells, they found that CD44+ CD24+ cells have the biologial behaviors of lower proliferative index and faster tumor growth rate in vivo.
Further research should study further purification and other biological behaviors of pancreatic adenocarcinoma stem cells.
- Huang et al. Isolation and biological analysis of tumor stem cells from pancreatic adenocarcinoma. World Journal of Gastroenterology, 2008; 14 (24): 3903 DOI: 10.3748/wjg.14.3903
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