New therapeutic targets in ovarian cancer stem cells

New therapeutic targets in ovarian cancer stem cells

Author information

Livia Elena Sima1, Salvatore Condello1, Daniela Elena Matei1,2,3*
1Division of Reproductive Science and Medicine, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, Illinois, 60611, US
2Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center, Chicago, IL, US
3Jesse Brown VA Medical Center, Chicago, IL, US


Ovarian cancer (OC) is the deadliest gynecological malignancy. Characterized by frequent recurrences after standard chemotherapy and a pattern of dissemination in the peritoneal cavity, ovarian tumor development and progression may be driven by cancer stem cells (CSCs). This concept is supported by the identification of a subset of OC cells with stem-like characteristics, including self-renewal, ability to differentiate and to initiate tumors in vivo. It has been proposed that ovarian CSCs are responsible for development of chemotherapy resistance and of disease recurrence, which occur commonly in OC. Several markers are used for the isolation of ovarian CSCs and distinct pathways fuel their survival and proliferation within the tumor microenvironment (TME). Here we aim to review recent advances in the field of ovarian CSCs and to discuss novel therapeutic targets which could be exploited to eliminate this tumor cell sub-population with the goal of preventing emergence of resistance to chemotherapy and disease progression.
(Received 27 March 2017; accepted 18 May, 2017)


ovarian cancer, stem cells