Moving breast cancer stem cell therapies to the clinic

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Published: 19 Dec 2013
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Dr Max Wicha - University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, USA

Dr Wicha talks to ecancertv at SABCS 2013 about how many cancers, including breast cancer, are driven by cells which display stem cell properties, a fact which has significant clinical implications.

Furthermore, the demonstrated role of these cells in mediating tumour metastasis and treatment resistance suggests the need to develop strategies to specifically target cancer stem cell (CSC) populations.

Promising new technologies including the isolation and molecular characterization of circulating cancer stem cells may provide the opportunity for real time assessment of the efficacy of CSC targeting agents. A number of agents regulating breast CSCs have entered early phase clinical trials which will determine whether effective targeting of CSCs improves patient outcome.