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Dendritic Cells Loaded with Pancreatic Cancer Stem Cells (CSCs) Lysates Induce Antitumor Immune Killing Effect In Vitro

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      Abstract

      According to the cancer stem cells (CSCs) theory, malignant tumors may be heterogeneous in which a small population of CSCs drive the progression of cancer. Because of their intrinsic abilities, CSCs may survive a variety of treatments and then lead to therapeutic resistance and cancer recurrence. Pancreatic CSCs have been reported to be responsible for the malignant behaviors of pancreatic cancer, including suppression of immune protection. Thus, development of immune strategies to eradicate pancreatic CSCs may be of great value for the treatment of pancreatic cancer. In this study, we enriched pancreatic CSCs by culturing Panc-1 cells under sphere-forming conditions. Panc-1 CSCs expressed low levels of HLA-ABC and CD86, as measured by flow cytometry analysis. We further found that the Panc-1 CSCs modulate immunity by inhibiting lymphocyte proliferation which is promoted by phytohemagglutinin (PHA) and anti-CD3 monoclonal antibodies. The monocyte derived dendritic cells (DCs) were charged with total lysates generated from Panc-1 CSCs obtained from tumor sphere culturing. After co-culturing with lymphocytes at different ratios, the Panc-1 CSCs lysates modified DC effectively promoted lymphocyte proliferation. The activating efficiency reached 72.4% and 74.7% at the ratios of 1∶10 and 1∶20 with lymphocytes. The activated lymphocytes secreted high levels of INF-γ and IL-2, which are strong antitumor cytokines. Moreover, Panc-1 CSCs lysates modified DC induced significant cytotoxic effects of lymphocytes on Panc-1 CSCs and parental Panc-1 cells, respectively, as shown by lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) assay. Our study demonstrates that the development of CSCs-based vaccine is a promising strategy for treating pancreatic cancer.

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      Identification of pancreatic cancer stem cells.

      Emerging evidence has suggested that the capability of a tumor to grow and propagate is dependent on a small subset of cells within a tumor, termed cancer stem cells. Although data have been provided to support this theory in human blood, brain, and breast cancers, the identity of pancreatic cancer stem cells has not been determined. Using a xenograft model in which primary human pancreatic adenocarcinomas were grown in immunocompromised mice, we identified a highly tumorigenic subpopulation of pancreatic cancer cells expressing the cell surface markers CD44, CD24, and epithelial-specific antigen (ESA). Pancreatic cancer cells with the CD44(+)CD24(+)ESA(+) phenotype (0.2-0.8% of pancreatic cancer cells) had a 100-fold increased tumorigenic potential compared with nontumorigenic cancer cells, with 50% of animals injected with as few as 100 CD44(+)CD24(+)ESA(+) cells forming tumors that were histologically indistinguishable from the human tumors from which they originated. The enhanced ability of CD44(+)CD24(+)ESA(+) pancreatic cancer cells to form tumors was confirmed in an orthotopic pancreatic tail injection model. The CD44(+)CD24(+)ESA(+) pancreatic cancer cells showed the stem cell properties of self-renewal, the ability to produce differentiated progeny, and increased expression of the developmental signaling molecule sonic hedgehog. Identification of pancreatic cancer stem cells and further elucidation of the signaling pathways that regulate their growth and survival may provide novel therapeutic approaches to treat pancreatic cancer, which is notoriously resistant to standard chemotherapy and radiation.
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        Distinct populations of cancer stem cells determine tumor growth and metastatic activity in human pancreatic cancer.

        Pancreatic adenocarcinoma is currently the fourth leading cause for cancer-related mortality. Stem cells have been implicated in pancreatic tumor growth, but the specific role of these cancer stem cells in tumor biology, including metastasis, is still uncertain. We found that human pancreatic cancer tissue contains cancer stem cells defined by CD133 expression that are exclusively tumorigenic and highly resistant to standard chemotherapy. In the invasive front of pancreatic tumors, a distinct subpopulation of CD133(+) CXCR4(+) cancer stem cells was identified that determines the metastatic phenotype of the individual tumor. Depletion of the cancer stem cell pool for these migrating cancer stem cells virtually abrogated the metastatic phenotype of pancreatic tumors without affecting their tumorigenic potential. In conclusion, we demonstrate that a subpopulation of migrating CD133(+) CXCR4(+) cancer stem cells is essential for tumor metastasis. Strategies aimed at modulating the SDF-1/CXCR4 axis may have important clinical applications to inhibit metastasis of cancer stem cells.
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          Intrinsic resistance of tumorigenic breast cancer cells to chemotherapy.

          Tumorigenic breast cancer cells that express high levels of CD44 and low or undetectable levels of CD24 (CD44(>)/CD24(>/low)) may be resistant to chemotherapy and therefore responsible for cancer relapse. These tumorigenic cancer cells can be isolated from breast cancer biopsies and propagated as mammospheres in vitro. In this study, we aimed to test directly in human breast cancers the effect of conventional chemotherapy or lapatinib (an epidermal growth factor receptor [EGFR]/HER2 pathway inhibitor) on this tumorigenic CD44(>) and CD24(>/low) cell population. Paired breast cancer core biopsies were obtained from patients with primary breast cancer before and after 12 weeks of treatment with neoadjuvant chemotherapy (n = 31) or, for patients with HER2-positive tumors, before and after 6 weeks of treatment with the EGFR/HER2 inhibitor lapatinib (n = 21). Single-cell suspensions established from these biopsies were stained with antibodies against CD24, CD44, and lineage markers and analyzed by flow cytometry. The potential of cells from biopsy samples taken before and after treatment to form mammospheres in culture was compared. All statistical tests were two-sided. Chemotherapy treatment increased the percentage of CD44(>)/CD24(>/low) cells (mean at baseline vs 12 weeks, 4.7%, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 3.5% to 5.9%, vs 13.6%, 95% CI = 10.9% to 16.3%; P )/CD24(>/low) cells (mean at baseline vs 6 weeks, 10.0%, 95% CI = 7.2% to 12.8%, vs 7.5%, 95% CI = 4.1% to 10.9%) and a statistically non-significant decrease in MSFE (mean at baseline vs 6 weeks, 16.1%, 95% CI = 8.7% to 23.5%, vs 10.8%, 95% CI = 4.0% to 17.6%). These studies provide clinical evidence for a subpopulation of chemotherapy-resistant breast cancer-initiating cells. Lapatinib did not lead to an increase in these tumorigenic cells, and, in combination with conventional therapy, specific pathway inhibitors may provide a therapeutic strategy for eliminating these cells to decrease recurrence and improve long-term survival.
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            Author and article information

            Affiliations
            [1 ]Pancreatic Disease Institute, Department of General Surgery, Union Hospital, Tongji Medical College, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, 1277 Jiefang Avenue, Wuhan, Hubei, P. R. China
            [2 ]Department of Clinical Cancer Prevention, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX, United States of America
            Indiana University School of Medicine, United States of America
            Author notes

            Competing Interests: The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.

            Conceived and designed the experiments: TY CYW. Performed the experiments: PFS TY SMG. Analyzed the data: TY PFS QS. Contributed reagents/materials/analysis tools: TY SMG. Wrote the paper: TY QS.

            Contributors
            Role: Editor
            Journal
            PLoS One
            PLoS ONE
            plos
            plosone
            PLoS ONE
            Public Library of Science (San Francisco, USA )
            1932-6203
            2014
            18 December 2014
            : 9
            : 12
            25521461 4270694 PONE-D-14-33820 10.1371/journal.pone.0114581

            This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

            Counts
            Pages: 12
            Funding
            This study was supported by grants from the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 30801100).
            Categories
            Research Article
            Biology and Life Sciences
            Cell Biology
            Immunology
            Medicine and Health Sciences
            Clinical Medicine
            Oncology
            Custom metadata
            The authors confirm that all data underlying the findings are fully available without restriction. All relevant data are within the paper.

            Uncategorized

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