Increasing experimental evidence supports the cancer stem cell model in HNSCC, which is in favor of a small proportion of cells with the capability of sustaining tumour formation and growth, self-renewal and differentiation in a tumour type and context dependent manner. These CSCs have a probable role in resistance to therapy, establishment of metastasis and recurrence which is allusive of the fact that targeted elimination of th...
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...more tumourigenic potential than by CD44+ marker. Also, c-Met+ /CD44+combination yielded tumours in 80% of cases while c-Met+/ALDH1+ displayed tumour formation in 66% cases (Sun and Wang, 2011). Thus c-Met has been proposed as a potent CSC marker in HNSCC but further investigation with a greater number of samples and a comparison of c-Met+ with other CSC and stemness markers could give a clear depiction (Sun and Wang, 2011).
Side Populations (SPs):
Identification of CSCs is widely done by the side population approach which involves elimination of Hoechst 33342. Hoechst 33342, a fluorescent DNA-binding dye, preferentially binds to A-T rich regions of tumourigenic cells. These SPs express high levels of the ATP-binding cassette (ABC) transporter superfamily (e.g. MDR1, MRP1, ABCB5, ABCG2) that facilitates the efflux of this dye and other drugs (Zhang et al., 2009).
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