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      Nanomedicine-Mediated Therapies to Target Breast Cancer Stem Cells

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          Abstract

          Accumulating evidences have suggested the existence of breast cancer stem cells (BCSCs), which possess the potential of both self-renewal and differentiation. The origin of BCSCs might have relationship to the development of normal mammary stem cells. BCSCs are believed to play a key role in the initiation, recurrence and chemo-/radiotherapy resistances of breast cancer. Therefore, elimination of BCSCs is crucial for breast cancer therapy. However, conventional chemo and radiation therapies cannot eradicate BCSCs effectively. Fortunately, nanotechnology holds great potential for specific and efficient anti-BCSCs treatment. “Smart” nanocarriers can distinguish BCSCs from the other breast cancer cells and selectively deliver therapeutic agents to the BCSCs. Emerging findings suggest that BCSCs in breast cancer could be successfully inhibited and even eradicated by functionalized nanomedicines. In this review, we focus on origin of BCSCs, strategies used to target BCSCs, and summarize the nanotechnology-based delivery systems that have been applied for eliminating BCSCs in breast cancer.

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          Most cited references 93

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          Global cancer statistics, 2012.

          Cancer constitutes an enormous burden on society in more and less economically developed countries alike. The occurrence of cancer is increasing because of the growth and aging of the population, as well as an increasing prevalence of established risk factors such as smoking, overweight, physical inactivity, and changing reproductive patterns associated with urbanization and economic development. Based on GLOBOCAN estimates, about 14.1 million new cancer cases and 8.2 million deaths occurred in 2012 worldwide. Over the years, the burden has shifted to less developed countries, which currently account for about 57% of cases and 65% of cancer deaths worldwide. Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death among males in both more and less developed countries, and has surpassed breast cancer as the leading cause of cancer death among females in more developed countries; breast cancer remains the leading cause of cancer death among females in less developed countries. Other leading causes of cancer death in more developed countries include colorectal cancer among males and females and prostate cancer among males. In less developed countries, liver and stomach cancer among males and cervical cancer among females are also leading causes of cancer death. Although incidence rates for all cancers combined are nearly twice as high in more developed than in less developed countries in both males and females, mortality rates are only 8% to 15% higher in more developed countries. This disparity reflects regional differences in the mix of cancers, which is affected by risk factors and detection practices, and/or the availability of treatment. Risk factors associated with the leading causes of cancer death include tobacco use (lung, colorectal, stomach, and liver cancer), overweight/obesity and physical inactivity (breast and colorectal cancer), and infection (liver, stomach, and cervical cancer). A substantial portion of cancer cases and deaths could be prevented by broadly applying effective prevention measures, such as tobacco control, vaccination, and the use of early detection tests. © 2015 American Cancer Society.
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            Prospective identification of tumorigenic breast cancer cells.

            Breast cancer is the most common malignancy in United States women, accounting for >40,000 deaths each year. These breast tumors are comprised of phenotypically diverse populations of breast cancer cells. Using a model in which human breast cancer cells were grown in immunocompromised mice, we found that only a minority of breast cancer cells had the ability to form new tumors. We were able to distinguish the tumorigenic (tumor initiating) from the nontumorigenic cancer cells based on cell surface marker expression. We prospectively identified and isolated the tumorigenic cells as CD44(+)CD24(-/low)Lineage(-) in eight of nine patients. As few as 100 cells with this phenotype were able to form tumors in mice, whereas tens of thousands of cells with alternate phenotypes failed to form tumors. The tumorigenic subpopulation could be serially passaged: each time cells within this population generated new tumors containing additional CD44(+)CD24(-/low)Lineage(-) tumorigenic cells as well as the phenotypically diverse mixed populations of nontumorigenic cells present in the initial tumor. The ability to prospectively identify tumorigenic cancer cells will facilitate the elucidation of pathways that regulate their growth and survival. Furthermore, because these cells drive tumor development, strategies designed to target this population may lead to more effective therapies.
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              ALDH1 is a marker of normal and malignant human mammary stem cells and a predictor of poor clinical outcome.

              Application of stem cell biology to breast cancer research has been limited by the lack of simple methods for identification and isolation of normal and malignant stem cells. Utilizing in vitro and in vivo experimental systems, we show that normal and cancer human mammary epithelial cells with increased aldehyde dehydrogenase activity (ALDH) have stem/progenitor properties. These cells contain the subpopulation of normal breast epithelium with the broadest lineage differentiation potential and greatest growth capacity in a xenotransplant model. In breast carcinomas, high ALDH activity identifies the tumorigenic cell fraction, capable of self-renewal and of generating tumors that recapitulate the heterogeneity of the parental tumor. In a series of 577 breast carcinomas, expression of ALDH1 detected by immunostaining correlated with poor prognosis. These findings offer an important new tool for the study of normal and malignant breast stem cells and facilitate the clinical application of stem cell concepts.
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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                Journal
                Front Pharmacol
                Front Pharmacol
                Front. Pharmacol.
                Frontiers in Pharmacology
                Frontiers Media S.A.
                1663-9812
                13 September 2016
                2016
                : 7
                Affiliations
                1College of Pharmacy, Southwest University for Nationalities Chengdu, China
                2Pharmacy, School of Medicine and Pharmacology, The University of Western Australia, Crawley WA, Australia
                3Department of Pharmacy, College of Veterinary Medicine, Sichuan Agricultural University Chengdu, China
                4Key Laboratory for Stem Cells and Tissue Engineering (Sun Yat-sen University), Ministry of Education Guangzhou, China
                Author notes

                Edited by: Kang Liu, Baylor College of Medicine, USA

                Reviewed by: Chuntang Fu, Texas A&M University, USA; Lu Wang, Northwestern University, USA

                *Correspondence: Zhi-xiang Yuan, zhixiang-yuan@ 123456hotmail.com Jingxin Mo, dr.jingxin.mo@ 123456hotmail.com
                These authors have contributed equally this work.

                This article was submitted to Pharmacology of Anti-Cancer Drugs, a section of the journal Frontiers in Pharmacology

                Article
                10.3389/fphar.2016.00313
                5020043
                Copyright © 2016 He, Gu, Lim, Yuan and Mo.

                This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) or licensor are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

                Page count
                Figures: 2, Tables: 2, Equations: 0, References: 93, Pages: 13, Words: 0
                Funding
                Funded by: National Natural Science Foundation of China 10.13039/501100001809
                Award ID: 81302729
                Categories
                Pharmacology
                Review

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