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Are ovarian cancer stem cells the target for innovative immunotherapy?

Authors Wang L, Xu T, Cui M

Received 28 October 2017

Accepted for publication 26 February 2018

Published 8 May 2018 Volume 2018:11 Pages 2615—2626

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/OTT.S155458

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Ms Justinn Cochran

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Prof. Dr. Geoffrey Pietersz


Liang Wang, Tianmin Xu, Manhua Cui

Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics, The Second Hospital of Jilin University, Changchun, Jilin, People’s Republic of China

Abstract: Cancer stem cells (CSCs), a subpopulation of cancer cells with the ability of self-renewal and differentiation, are believed to be responsible for tumor generation, progression, metastasis, and relapse. Ovarian cancer, the most malignant gynecological cancer, has consistent pathology behavior with CSC model, which suggests that therapies based on ovarian cancer stem cells (OCSCs) can gain a more successful prognosis. Much evidence has proved that epigenetic mechanism played an important role in tumor formation and sustainment. Since CSCs are generally resistant to conventional therapies (chemotherapy and radiotherapy), immunotherapy is a more effective method that has been implemented in the clinic. Chimeric antigen receptor (CAR)- T cell, an adoptive cellular immunotherapy, which results in apparent elimination of tumor in both hematologic and solid cancers, could be used for ovarian cancer. This review covers the basic conception of CSCs and OCSCs, the implication of epigenetic mechanism underlying cancer evolution considering CSC model, the immunotherapies reported for ovarian cancer targeting OCSCs currently, and the relationship between immune system and hierarchy cancer organized by CSCs. Particularly, the promising prospects and potential pitfalls of targeting OCSC surface markers to design CAR-T cellular immunotherapy are discussed here.

Keywords: cancer stem cells, ovarian cancer, epigenetics, tumor cell surface marker, immunotherapy, CAR

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