REVIEW ARTICLE
Year : 2021  |  Volume : 20  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 12

Role of cancer stem cells in head-and-neck squamous cell carcinoma – A systematic review


1 Department of Oral Pathology and Microbiology, Faculty of Dental Sciences, MS Ramaiah University of Applied Sciences, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India
2 Department of Maxillofacial Surgery and Diagnostic Sciences, College of Dentistry, Jazan University, Jazan, Saudi Arabia
3 College of Dental Medicine, Roseman University of Health Sciences, South Jordan, Utah, USA
4 Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Faculty of Dental Sciences, MS Ramaiah University of Applied Sciences, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India

Correspondence Address:
Dominic Augustine
Department of Oral Pathology and Microbiology, Faculty of Dental Sciences, MS Ramaiah University of Applied Sciences, MSR Nagar, Bengaluru - 560 054, Karnataka
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/jcar.JCar_14_20

Targeting cancer stem cell (CSC) subpopulation within the tumor remains an obstacle for specific therapy in head-and-neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC). Few studies in the literature describe a panel of stem cell makers, however a distinct panel has not been put forth. This systematic review aims to enhance the knowledge of additional markers to accurately relate their expression to tumorigenesis, metastasis, and therapy resistance. Databases, including PubMed, Google Scholar, Ebsco, and Science Direct, were searched from 2010 to 2017 using various combinations of the following keywords: “Stem cell markers in HNSCC” and “chemoresistance and radioresistence in HNSCC.” Original experimental studies (both in vitro and in vivo) published in English considering stem cell markers in HNSCC, were considered and included. We excluded articles on tumors other than HNSCC, reviews, editorial letters, book chapters, opinions, and abstracts from the analyses. Forty-two articles were included, in which 13 types of stem cell markers were identified. The most commonly expressed CSC markers were CD44, aldehyde dehydrogenase, and CD133, which were responsible for tumorigenesis, self-renewal, and therapy resistance, whereas NANOG, SOX-2, and OCT-4 were involved in metastasis and invasion.Identification of an accurate panel of CSC markers is the need of the hour as nonspecificity of the current markers poses a problem. Further studies with a large sample size would help validate the role of these CSC markers in HNSCC. These CSC proteins can be developed as therapeutic targets for HNSCC therapy, making future treatment modality more specific and effective.


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