Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Number of cancer stem cells might not predict outcome in HPV-related oral cancers

Date:
January 22, 2014
Source:
Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center
Summary:
New research suggests that it may be the quality of cancer stem cells rather than their quantity that leads to better survival in certain patients with oral cancer.

New research from The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center -- Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute (OSUCCC -- James) suggests that it may be the quality of cancer stem cells rather than their quantity that leads to better survival in certain patients with oral cancer.

The researchers investigated cancer stem cell numbers in oral cancers associated with human papillomavirus (HPV) and in oral cancers not associated with the virus. Typically, patients with HPV-positive oral cancer respond better to therapy and have a more promising prognosis than patients with HPV-negative tumors. The latter are usually associated with tobacco and alcohol use.

The OSUCCC -- James team's findings, published in the journal Cancer, suggest that relying on the number of cancer stem cells in a tumor might inaccurately estimate the potential for the tumor's recurrence or progression.

"We show that high levels of cancer stem cells are not necessarily associated with a worse prognosis in head and neck cancer, a finding that could have far-reaching implications for patient care," says principal investigator Quintin Pan, PhD, associate professor of otolaryngology and scientist with the OSUCCC -- James Experimental Therapeutics Program.

Head and neck cancer is the sixth most common cancer worldwide, with an estimated 600,000 cases diagnosed annually. Although the disease is often linked to alcohol and tobacco use, cancer-causing types of HPV are a major risk factor for the malignancy, and cases of HPV-associated oral cancers have tripled in the past 30 years.

Cancer stem cells make up only a small percent of the malignant cells within a tumor. When these cells divide, they can produce either more cancer stem cells or the nondividing malignant cells that constitute the bulk of a tumor.

Research has shown that cancer stem cells are highly resistant to chemotherapy and radiation and those cancer stem cells that survive treatment cause tumor recurrence. For these reasons, it is thought that tumors with high numbers of cancer stem cells are more likely to recur.

In this study, Pan and his OSUCCC -- James collaborators hypothesized that patients with HPV-positive tumors had better outcomes because their tumors had fewer cancer stem cells than tumors with HPV-negative tumors. They discovered just the opposite, however.

Comparing numbers of cancer stem cells in human tumor samples and in oral-cancer cell lines, they found that the HPV-positive samples had 2.4 to 62.6 times more cancer stem cells than did the HPV-negative samples.

"Most cancer biologists would have expected tumors with high cancer stem cell numbers to be very difficult to cure because cancer stem cells are thought to convey resistance to conventional therapy," adds Ted Teknos, MD, study collaborator and director of head and neck cancer surgery at the OSUCCC -- James.

"However, it may be that HPV-induced head and neck cancer is highly curable primarily because the stem cells are sensitive to therapy. It's not the presence or absence of stem cells that is important in cancer, but rather how well does your therapy eliminate them."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Manchao Zhang, Bhavna Kumar, Longzhu Piao, Xiujie Xie, Alessandra Schmitt, Nicole Arradaza, Michael Cippola, Matthew Old, Amit Agrawal, Enver Ozer, David E. Schuller, Theodoros N. Teknos, Quintin Pan. Elevated intrinsic cancer stem cell population in human papillomavirus-associated head and neck squamous cell carcinoma. Cancer, 2013; DOI: 10.1002/cncr.28538

Cite This Page:

Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center. "Number of cancer stem cells might not predict outcome in HPV-related oral cancers." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 22 January 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/01/140122134150.htm>.
Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center. (2014, January 22). Number of cancer stem cells might not predict outcome in HPV-related oral cancers. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/01/140122134150.htm
Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center. "Number of cancer stem cells might not predict outcome in HPV-related oral cancers." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/01/140122134150.htm (accessed August 30, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

We've Got Mites Living In Our Faces And So Do You

We've Got Mites Living In Our Faces And So Do You

Newsy (Aug. 30, 2014) — A new study suggests 100 percent of adult humans (those over 18 years of age) have Demodex mites living in their faces. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Liberia Continues Fight Against Ebola

Liberia Continues Fight Against Ebola

AFP (Aug. 30, 2014) — Authorities in Liberia try to stem the spread of the Ebola epidemic by raising awareness and setting up sanitation units for people to wash their hands. Duration: 00:41 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
California Passes 'yes-Means-Yes' Campus Sexual Assault Bill

California Passes 'yes-Means-Yes' Campus Sexual Assault Bill

Reuters - US Online Video (Aug. 30, 2014) — California lawmakers pass a bill requiring universities to adopt "affirmative consent" language in their definitions of consensual sex, part of a nationwide drive to curb sexual assault on campuses. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
3 Things To Know About The Ebola Outbreak's Progression

3 Things To Know About The Ebola Outbreak's Progression

Newsy (Aug. 29, 2014) — Here are three things you need to know about the deadly Ebola outbreak's progression this week. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins